(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Confraternitas : the newsletter of the Society for Confraternity Studies"

Centre ior Rerormation 

ana Renaissance Studies 

Library 




Victoria University 
in the University 01 Toronto 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of Toronto 



http://www.archive.org/details/confraternitasne11soci 



Confraternitas 




Society for Confraternity Studies 



Volume 11, No. 1 



Spring 2000 




Confratemitas 

Editor 
Konrad Eisenbichler 

Assistant Editor 
Dylan Reid 

Editorial Board 

Giovanna Casagrande (Universita di Perugia) 

Lance Lazar (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) 

Nerida Newbigin (University of Sydney) 

Lorenzo Polizzotto (University of Western Australia) 

Joelle Rollo-Koster (University of Rhode Island) 

Ludovica Sebregondi (Universita di Firenze) 

Nicholas Terpstra (University of Toronto) 
Susan Verdi Webster (St Thomas University) 

Confratemitas is published biannually (Spring and Fall) by the Centre for Reformation 
and Renaissance Studies for the Society for Confraternity Studies. The subscription 
price is $15 per annum. 

Confratemitas is a refereed journal. It welcomes brief articles, news and notes of interest 
to colleagues, notices of forthcoming conferences or papers, and general queries. 
Contributors are asked to use the A style of the Chicago Manual of Style. 

Offprints and publications dealing with European confraternities in the Middle Ages 
and the Renaissance received by Confratemitas are listed under the "Publications 
Received" rubric and then deposited into the Confraternities Collection at the Centre for 
Reformation and Renaissance Studies (Toronto). 

Address all communications and manuscripts to the editors at CRRS, Victoria College, 
University of Toronto, Canada M5S 1K7. 
Tel: (416) 585-4486; fax: (416) 585-4579 

Web site: http://citd.scar.utoronto.ca/CRRS/Confraternitas/index.htm 

Electronic discussion group: confrat@listserv.unc.edu 

To join the discussion group, send the one-line message subscribe confrat Your Name 

to listserv@unc.edu (do not include anything else, no subject, no signature) 

ISSN 1180-0682 





c^ 



Confraternitas 

Volume 11, No. 1, Spring 2000 

Contents 

Articles 

"Piis enimpia conveniunt: Music for the Societa della Santa Croce in 

Cento (1606)" 

Linda Maria Koldau 2 

Theses Completed (Abstracts) 

Earenfight, Phillip Joseph. The Residence and Loggia della Misericordia 

(il Bigallo): Art and Architecture of Confraternal Piety, Charity, and 

Virtue in Late Medieval Florence. (Rutgers University, 1999) 23 

News 24 

Reviews 

Chiesa e religiosita popolare a Peschici, ed. Teresa Maria Rauzino, 
"Presentazione" by Liana Bertoldi Lenoci (Konrad Eisenbichler) 26 

Gli Innocenti e Firenze nei secoli. Un ospedale, un archivio, una citta, ed. 
Lucia Sandri (Nicholas Terpstra) 27 

Kowalski, Waldemar. Uposazenie parafii archidiakonatu 
Sandomierskiego w XV-XVIII wieku [transl: The Revenues of Parochial 

th th 

Institutions in the Sandomierz Archdeaconry in the 15 -18 Centuries] 

(Anna Patejczuk) 28 

Ospedali e citta. L Italia del Centro-Nord, XIII-XVI secolo, ed. Allen J. 

Grieco and Lucia Sandri (Fabio Calabrese) 29 

Publications Received 31 



j% qvintvs s.llfeiliiii'is}^ 





QF.FI CI VM BEATAE % 

M A R U VIRGINIS, 

Quod Dominicis , alijsque cfiebus feilisa Sbcie- 

taubus dccantari folcc , 

QVINIS VOCIBVS CONCINENDVM, 

Nunc primum ita mufice difpofitum , & in lucemedicuou 

S4*tti RUtij TtrrA Ccriti Mufuts M^x^ifiro. 







^5 

I 



I 






Nv 



U I « >* 



Vcnetl^, Apud Riccbrdum Afnadioutn. / M,D C V.I. . N j»(| 



Illustration 1 : title page from the 1606 edition of Antonio Coma's Officium 
Beatae Mariae Virginis 



Pits enitn pia conveniunt: Music for the Societa 
della Santa Croce in Cento (1606) 



LINDA MARIA KOLDAU 



Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis, quod Dominicis aliisque diebus festis a 
Societatibus decantari solet, quinibus vocibus concinendum, nunc primum ita 
musice dispositum et in lucem editum. Ab Antonio Coma Collegiatae Ecclesiae 
Sancti Blasij Terra Centi Musices Magistro. Venetijs, Apud Ricciardum 
Amadinum. MDCVI. 

It is not the wording of this title that strikes the scholar of seventeenth-century 
music as extraordinary — according to this title, the publication of Antonio Coma, 
chapel master of the collegiate church of Cento, a small town near Bologna, might 
just as well be one of the countless seventeenth-century prints containing musical 
settings of the Vesper psalms for Marian feasts. However, this first impression is 
deceptive: except for a setting of the Magnificat, Coma's Officium Beatae Mariae 
Virginis does not contain a single Vespers item. Instead, the composer offers a 
complete polyphonic setting of Matins and Lauds and includes only fragments of 
the Mass, Vespers, and Compline. In the repertory of Seicento liturgical music, 
such a combination is unique: Italian prints of that period comprise settings of the 
Mass Ordinary, the psalms for Vespers and Compline, the Magnificat, hymns, 
antiphons, and litanies; but Matins and Lauds were in general not sung in 
polyphony. 

Antonio Coma's extraordinary setting of these Offices raises questions that 
lead to the broader issue of religious life and liturgical practice in a small Italian 
town at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Most interestingly, however, 
the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis serves as a unique testimony to the religious 
practices of a particular confraternity, whose existence and devotional activities 
would be — but for Coma's print — almost completely forgotten today: the Offi- 
cium Beatae Mariae Virginis is dedicated to the Societa della Santa Croce in the 
town of Cento, near Bologna. Since there are no other documents extant that 
regard religious lay institutions in Cento at the beginning of the seventeenth century, 2 



The only other exceptions in Seicento repertoire I am aware of are two collections with 
psalms for Terce: Lodovico Viadana, Falsi bordoni con li salmi che si cantano a Terza, 
et il Te Deum laudamus. A 5 voci (Venice: Vincenti, 1602) and Stefano Levi, Salmi di 
Terza a 8 voci (Milan: G. Rolla, 1647). I am very grateful to Prof. Jeffrey Kurtzman (St. 
Louis) for his generous permission to study in his comprehensive archive of sixteenth- 
and seventeenth-century sacred music and to use his materials for my research. 
The Archivio di Stato of nearby Bologna preserves only early eighteenth-century documents 
on the Societa della Santa Croce. Oscar Mischiati reproduces the records of payments to 
organists at the church of Santa Croce, with which the confraternity was associated (Oscar 

3 



4 Confraternitas 11:1 

this music print has become the only documentation of this confraternity's 
existence at this time. And indeed, it offers more substantial evidence than might 
be expected at first sight: the title page, Coma's preface, and the music itself allow 
a hypothetical reconstruction of the liturgical framework used by this confrater- 
nity for its regular devotions, of the way in which these devotions were performed, 
and of the role that polyphonic music played in their religious exercises. Further- 
more, Coma's collection of polyphonic Office music may shed some light on the 
social standing and musical activities of the confraternity's members in the 
society of Cento around 1600. 

1. Music for the Societa della Santa Croce: The Print and Its Liturgical 
Context 

Although the dedicatee is not explicitly mentioned on the title page of Antonio 
Coma's Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis, the link to the Societa della Santa Croce 
is already indicated by the thorny cross that the Venetian printer Ricciardo 
Amadino chose to include on the frontispiece in place of his own device, an organ. 
Since a thorny cross is not found again on any title page of the contemporary 
Italian repertoire, this device must be associated with the Societa della Santa 
Croce. In this light, the wording of the title, 'Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
which is sung on Sundays and other feast days by the confraternities,' gains 
considerable weight: Coma's dedicatory preface eventually confirms that this 
collection has been compiled specifically for the 'noble and pious confratres of 
the Societa della Santa Croce of Cento.' Having been elected into the confrater- 
nity, the chapel master expresses his gratitude and affection for his religious 
brothers by publishing polyphonic settings of the liturgical items that the mem- 
bers of the confraternity would need for their religious celebrations: 

Noble, and pious gentlemen: Nicias, the excellent painter, used to say that he had 
been granted the great gift of the art of painting to portray worthy objects that 
would be deemed seemly by the critical eyes of the spectators. I therefore long to 
contribute something in memory of our Temple, so that I will not be considered 



Mischiati, 'La cappella musicale della Collegiata e gli organi delle chiese. Appunti per 
una storia,' Storia di Cento, vol. 2 Dal XVI al XX secolo (Cento: Centro Studi Girolamo 
Baruffaldi, 1994), p. 848. 1 am grateful to Dr. Mischiati for sharing his research material 
with me. 

The fact that Coma uses the plural form societatibus may point to the organization of 
confraternal life in Cento, which will be discussed at a later point in this article. 
In fact, Coma's expression of gratitude for the honour and support he received through 
his election into the society may be taken at face value: for a musician at this time, 
membership in a confraternity granted a certain social insurance and in some instances 
even a boost in his social ranking: see Elena Quaranta, Oltre San Marco. Organizzazione 
e prassi della musica nelle chiese di Venezia nel Rinascimento. Studi di Musica Veneta 
26 (Florence: Olschki, 1998), pp. 136f. However, Coma's biography and the social 
structure of seventeenth-century Cento imply that the chapel master must have belonged 
to the more distinguished circles of his home town in any case (see his biography below). 



Music for the Societa della Santa Croce in Cento 5 

tacitly to lead an idle life: the less I trusted in the weakness of my spirit, the more 
I have considered it apt to imitate the example of such a great man. Therefore I 
chose with a certain deliberation the Office of the Most Holy Queen of Heavens, 
Mother of God Almighty, which I intended to adorn for the most part with musical 
notes, so that my nightly endeavours would be accepted, if not through my 
giftedness or labour, at least through Her truly purest splendour. When this was 
done, it did not take me long to consider to whose patronage I would offer them. 
They are due you: for pious things are due to pious people. They are due for your 
piety, through which you all gather so frequently for these holiest prayers and songs 
of praise. They are due for your singular kindness, through which you elected 
me — not because of my merits, but only through the urging of your generous 
nature — into your society, and supported and honoured me henceforth. So do not 
refuse to accept with a cheerful countenance this little gift of my intellect, this 
monument and cheerful pledge of my gratitude, my affection and my esteem. Thus 
the Lord Almighty may keep you ever happy, ever pious, and may He accept you 
after this long course of life among the heavenly singers, where you will sing 
unanimously the eternal praise of His majesty. Farewell. 

With this dedication to the Societa della Santa Croce of Cento, Coma puts 
his music into a more definite context than usually found with Seicento collections 
of polyphonic church music. While his preface implies that this confraternity met 
regularly and with great zeal, not only for communal prayer, but also for the 
singing of praise, the contents of his Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis reflects 
how this confraternity would celebrate its religious services on Sundays and other 
feast days. However, Coma's selection of liturgical items has implications that 
go beyond the 'Dominicis aliisque diebus festis' mentioned in the title. Both the 
exact wording of the preface and the liturgical items that Coma chose to set and 
to include in his collection allow us quite a detailed reconstruction of the course 
and contents of the confraternity's devotions. 

First of all, a closer look at the preface helps to establish a link between 
Coma' s settings and the probable form of communal prayer and worship practised 



'Nicias olim pictor excellentissimus dicere consueverat (viri nobiles, viri pii) non 
mediocrem artis pingendi partem in eo esse positam, ut argumentum pingi dignum, & ad 
retinendos spectantium oculos aptum eligeretur. Quamobrem ego, cum in memoriae Templo 
aliquid appendere expoptarem, ne more pecudum vitam silentio traducere viderer: quo minus 
ingenii mei imbecillitate confidebam, eo diligentius tanti viri exemplum imitandum mini esse 
existimavi. Hinc Sacratissimae Coelorum Reginae, omnipotentis Dei Genitricis officium, 
quod pro virili ingenio, aut labore meo, ab illo sane purissimo auro lucubrationes meae pondus 
acciperent. Quo facto; non fuit mini diu deliberandum, cuius patrocinio illas offerrem. Vobis 
debebantur: Piis enim pia conveniunt: Debebantur pietati vestrae, qua vos omnes ad has 
sanctissimas preces, & laudes concinendas tarn frequenter convenitis: Debebantur singulari 
vestrae benignitati, qua me non meis quidem mentis at solo beneficae naturae vementis meae 
munusculum, gratitudinis, affectus, & observantiae monumentum; & pignus laeto, atque hilari 
vultu accipere ne gravemini: ita Deus Opt. Max. vos his semper felices, semper pios conservet, 
& post longum huius vitae curriculum inter immortales Coelorum cantores Maiestati suae 
sempeternas laudes una voce aetemum cantaturso admittat. Valete.' Coma's preface to the 
Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis, undated. 



6 Confraternitas 11:1 

by the Societa della Santa Croce. Coma's phrase 'qua vos omnes ad has sanc- 
tissimas preces, & laudes concinendas tam frequenter convenitis' proves to be the 
key to identifying this form of worship, although a certain degree of ambivalence 
remains, since the phrase 'ad has sanctissimas preces, & laudes concinendas' can 
be read in two ways. 

On the one hand, with 'preces, & laudes' Coma might be referring in general 
terms to the regular prayer and worship of the confratres. In this case, he leaves 
the question of what kind of music was sung at the confraternity ' s meetings open. 
However, it is likely that laudes could be taken literally as a musical term: from 
the mid-thirteenth century the lauda was the most important form of non-liturgical 
religious song in Italy. These monophonic (and in Coma's time also polyphonic) 
vernacular songs were the main vehicle for musical worship, especially in lay 
circles and in confraternities. 6 

On the other hand, the demonstrative pronoun has (these) may be of key 
significance: if Coma deliberately used this pronoun to form a link between the 
confraternity's 'preces, & laudes' and his collection of sacred music ('these' 
referring both to the music and to the worship), the settings compiled in this print 
reflect the procedure of the confraternity' s worship. Since Coma offers a complete 
setting of the morning Office Lauds (Latin Laudes), his term laudes — though not 
printed with a capital letter 7 — could in fact be taken at face value and refer to the 
liturgical service in particular rather than to songs of praise in general. 

In fact, this interpretation is not at all unlikely. The characteristic design of 
a confraternity's religious activities, the specific liturgical practice in the town of 
Cento, and finally the contents of Coma's print confirm that the worship of the 



For general information on the lauda and its function in popular Italian devotion, see John 
Stevens/William F. Prinzer, entry 'Lauda spirituale' in The New Grove Dictionary of 
Music and Musicians, ed. by Stanley Sadie (London: Macmillan, 1980) vol. 10, pp. 
539-543. The fundamental studies regarding the lauda are Francesco Liuzzi, La lauda e 
i primordi della melodia italiana, 2 vols. (Rome: Libreria dello Stato, 1935); Piero 
Damilano, 'La lauda filippina, espressione religiosa popolare del rinascimento' Musica 
sacra 1 (1956), pp. 13-16, 74-84, 112-120; Francesco Luisi, Laudario giustinianeo 
(Venice: Edizioni Fondazione Levi, 1985). For the role of the lauda in the popular 
devotion of late Cinquecento Italy see Giancarlo Rostirolla, 'La musica a Roma al tempo 
del Baronio: 1' Oratorio e la produzione laudistica in ambiente romano' in Baronio e I 'arte. 
Atti del Convegno internazionale di Studi, Sora 1984 (Sora: Centro di studi sorani 
"Vincenzo Patriarca", 1985), pp. 571-798; idem, 'Aspetti di vita musicale religiosa nella 
chiesa e negli oratori dei Padri Filippini e Gesuiti di Napoli a cavallo tra Cinque e Seicento' 
in La musica a Napoli durante il Seicento. Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi, 
Napoli 1985, ed. by Domenico Antonio D'Alessandro and Agostino Ziino (Rome: 
Edizioni Torre d'Orfeo, 1987), pp. 643-704; and Domenico Alaleona, Storia dell' oratorio 
musicale in Italia (Milan: Bocca, 1945). 

Despite the general orthographic nonchalance in seventeenth-century prints, specific 
names and religious terms were quite consistently printed with capital letters (eg: Templo, 
Sacratissimae Coelorum Regina, Dei Genitricis, and Deus Opt. Max. in Coma's preface). 
However, the term officium also lacks the capital, so that laudes might just as well denote 
the liturgical Office. 



Music for the Societa della Santa Croce in Cento 1 

Societa della Santa Croce may well have been an a truly liturgical, almost 
monastic one: Coma's setting of the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis implies that 
the confraternity assembled to sing Matins and Lauds in five-part polyphony on 
Sundays and feast days, and perhaps parts of the Mass, Vespers, and Compline 
as well (Table 1). 



Table 1: Contents and Liturgical Function 


Piece 


Liturgical function 


Liturgical genre 


Domine labia mea aperies 


Matins (1 st Nocturn) 


Ingress 


Deus in adiutorium 


Ave Maria 


Invitatory to Ps 94 


Quem terra pontus ethera 


Hymn 


Domine Dominus (Primi Toni) 


Psalm 8 

Psalm 18 1 st Nocturn 

Psalm 23 


Coeli ennarant (Octavi Toni) 


Domini est terra (Quarti Toni) 


Te Deum laudamus 


Hymn 


Dominus regnavit (Primi Toni) 


Lauds (Sunday) 


Psalm 92 


Jubilate Deo (Secundi Toni) 


Psalm 99 


Deus, Deus meus (Quarti Toni) 


Psalm 62/66 


Benedicite (Sexti Toni) 


Old Testament Canticle 


Laudate Dominum de coelis (Octavi Toni) 


Psalm 148-150 


gloriosa Domina 


Hymn 


Benedictus (Octavi Toni) 


New Testament Canticle 


Credo in unum Deum 


Mass 


part of the Ordinary 


Magnificat (Primi Toni) 


Vespers 


Vespers Canticle 


Qui habitat (Octavi Toni) 


Compline 


Psalm 90 



The first section of the text contains a complete setting of Matins: the Ingress 
Domine labia mea aperies with the response Deus in adiutorium, the Invitatory 
to Psalm 94, Ave Maria gratia plena, the Hymn Quem terra pontus ethera, the 
three Psalms of the first Nocturn, and the Hymn Te Deum laudamus. After that, 
Coma includes the entire Office of Sunday Lauds on Marian feasts, with its series 
of three Psalms, the Old Testament Canticle Benedicite, the collated Psalm 
148-150, the Hymn O gloriosa Domina, and the New Testament Canticle 
Benedictus.^ Finally, he adds fragments of the most common liturgies: the Credo 



The exact order of these Hours is found in Antiphonarium Romanum Ad Ritum Breviarij, 
Ex Decreto Sancrosancti Concilij Tridentini restituiti. Pii Quinti Pontificis Maximi iussu 
editi, & dementis Octavi auctoritate recogniti. Ea omnia continens, quae turn adDivinum 



8 Confraternitas 11:1 

of the Mass Ordinary, the Magnificat, which concludes the Vespers service, and 
the Compline Psalm Qui habitat (Ps 90). 9 

Compared to the standard prints of Seicento church music that consist almost 
exclusively of settings for these last three services, Coma's setting of Matins and 
Lauds appears highly unusual. However, the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis is 
not just a standard collection designed for the average needs of any church 
cappella: it reflects the 'Officium ... quod Dominicis aliisque diebus festis a 
Societatibus decantari solet' and therefore perfectly fits the communal devotions 
of the confraternity for which it was composed and compiled. 

Although there is no extant documentation of the religious practices of the 
confraternities in Cento at the beginning of the seventeenth century, our general 
knowledge of confraternities and their religious purposes, and of the centuries-old 
Roman liturgical traditions still valid today, may help us to put Coma's Officium 
Beatae Mariae Virginis into its proper context. 

From the very beginning, the main objectives of lay confraternities were 
charity and devotion. 10 While the majority of Italian confraternities — according 
to the extant statutes — placed the primary emphasis in their devotional activities 
on the recitation of the most popular prayers (such as the Paternoster and the Ave 
Maria), on the regular celebration of Mass, and on processions, 11 there is also 



Officium decantandum, Turn ad religiosorum commodum, necessaria sunt. De licentia 
superiorum (Venice: Nicolo Misserino, 1607), fols. 117v-124r (Matins and Lauds on 
Sundays) 1 38v-l 43r (Matins and Lauds on Marian Feasts). For the omission of the second 
and the third Noctum at Matins and the inclusion of the Te Deum see below. 

9 The complete Mass Ordinary consists of Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus/Benedictus, and 
Agnus Dei. The exact order of Vespers and Compline on Sundays is found in the 
Antiphonarium Romanum, fols. 13 lr-133v. The Vesper items commonly set to music in 
Seicento Italy are the Invitatory Deus in adjutorium meum intende, the current psalmody 
(five Vesper psalms, preceded and followed by their respective antiphon), the current 
hymn, and the Magnificat (see Jeffrey Kurtzman, The Monteverdi Vespers of 1610: Music, 
Context, Performance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 56ff and pp. 56-78 
for an extensive discussion of the Vespers liturgy in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries). The Compline items that are generally found in Seicento music prints comprise 
the four psalms (Ps 4, Ps 30, Ps 90, Ps 133), the hymn Te lucis ante terminum, and the 
Canticle Nunc dimittis, but there are also composers who set the other liturgical Compline 
items: see Jerome Roche, 'Musica diversa di Compieta: Compline and its Music in 
Seventeenth-Century Italy' Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association 109 (1982-83), 
pp. 60-79. 

1 See Giancarlo Angelozzi, Le confraternite laicali. Un 'esperienza cristiana tra medioevo 
e eta moderna (Brescia: Editrice Queriniana, 1978), pp. 7ff (the role of the 'impegni 
devozionali' in the confraternities' statutes is discussed on pp. 60-63) and Jonathan 
Glixon, 'Music at the Venetian Scuole Grandi, 1440-1540' in Music in Medieval and 
Early Modern Europe. Patronage, Sources and Texts, ed. by Iain Fenlon (Cambridge: 
Cambridge University Press, 1981), pp. 194ff. 

1 1 The well-documented practices of Venetian confraternities confirm this emphasis and at 
the same time illustrate the importance of such public — and often ostentatious — 
devotions. On the feast day of their patron saint, these confraternities would celebrate 



Music for the Societa della Santa Croce in Cento 9 

ample evidence that the communal recitation of the so-called Officium parvum 
was a religious exercise specifically performed by the lay confraternities. 12 This 
'Little Office' usually consisted of excerpts or paraphrases of the Roman Liturgy, 
and it contained several or all of the seven daily Hours — Lauds, Prime, Terce, 
Sixt, None, Vespers, and Compline. On Sundays and feast days these consider- 
ably reduced Office Hours were performed in a more elaborate way and extended 
to form a coherent service. 13 

It is these very elements that we find in Coma's print. The contents and 
organization of the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis imply that the Societa della 
Santa Croce was one of the confraternities that dedicated their religious zeal to 
the extensive observance of such liturgically founded exercises. Not only do 
Matins and Lauds form part of the daily Hours, but their individual character also 
lends itself to performance by a committed laity. 

Matins, also called Vigil, is the nightly prayer preceding the morning praise. 
This extensive Hour with its numerous psalms and readings from Holy Scriptures 
has a meditative character: it serves to instruct the participant in the foundations 
of Christian faith, a prime objective of any confraternity. 14 Lauds are the first of 



Mass in their associated church, go in procession to their hall, celebrate another Mass 
there and then proceed back to the church. For these services, as well as for the solemn 
public announcement of their festa on the eve of the day, professional musicians would 
be hired and polyphonic music performed, see Quaranta, pp. 143ff. Early in the 
seventeenth century, the musical activities became more lavish in some confraternities: 
in 1604 the Scuola della Beata Vergine Assunta began to provide a 'musical Compline' 
in its associated church San Geremia, for which singers and instrumentalists were hired, 
obviously with long-term contracts and annual salaries: Jonathan Glixon, 'Far il buon 
concerto: Music at the Venetian Scuole Piccole in the Seventeenth Century' Journal of 
Seventeenth-Century Music 1 (1995), unpaginated online document, paragraph 2.5. In 
1626 there are still records that the 'musical Compline' was celebrated regularly. The pay 
rolls indicate that some of the scuole piccole could afford the best Venetian singers and 
instrumentalists to add splendour to their religious feasts {ibid., passim). The musical 
practice in the Venetian scuole grandi are discussed in the following essays by Jonathan 
Glixon: 'A Musicians' Union in Sixteenth-Century Venice' J.A.M.S. 36 (1983), pp. 
392-421 ; id., 'Music at the scuole in the Age of Andrea Gabrieli' in Andrea Gabrieli e il 
suo tempo: Atti del Convegno Internazionale (Venezia 16-18 settembre 1985), ed. by 
Francesco Degrada (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1987), pp. 59-74; id., 'Far una bella 
procession: Music and Public Ceremony at the Venetian scuole grandi' in Altro Polo, 
Essays on Italian Music in the Cinquecento, ed. by Richard Charteris (Sydney: University 
of Sydney, 1990), pp. 190-220. 

12 See Theodor Schnitzler, Was das Stundengebet bedeutet (Freiburg: Herder, 1980), p. 93: 
'Die Forderer der Kleinen Offizien waren hauptsachlich die Bruderschaften. Die Mitglieder 
einer Bruderschaft versplichteten sich zur taglichen Verrichtung des Kleinen Offiziums, 
das dem Titel der Bruderschaften entsprach.' (italics as in the original). However, there 
may be decisive local differences in the design of the confraternities' devotions: Schnitzler 
refers to German confraternities, while the Italian documents put their emphasis on the 
Mass and on processions (see Angelozzi, p. 61). 

13 Schnitzler, p. 94. 

14 See the general introduction to the Office Hours in monastic circles, paragraphs 51 and 



10 Confraternitas 11:1 

the seven daily Hours; as 'first stirring of soul and spirit,' and in remembrance of 
the resurrection of Christ, this Hour is celebrated at sunrise. 15 Like the 
'educational' Matins, the celebration of Lauds seems to be especially suitable for 
a confraternity: the universal morning praise is regarded as a prayer apt for the 
entire Christian community, it receives a specifically 'popular' character through 
the inclusion of two Canticles, 16 and it is recommended especially to those who 
lead a communal life according to Christian statutes. 17 

Matins and Lauds are not only linked by their shared suitability for a 
confraternity's devotional needs, but also by the way in which these two services are 
celebrated. The time when Matins are sung is not fixed: as the separate nightly prayer, 
it lasts from 1 1:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. in monastic circles, while in all other cases it is 
combined with Lauds to form the first Hour at daybreak. 18 Since Coma provided 
elaborate settings for every individual item both in Matins and Lauds, it is quite 
possible that the Societa della Santa Croce imitated monastic practice by celebrating 



52: 'Die Feier der Vigil dient durch Psalmengebet und Lesung der Meditation des 
Heilswerkes. Vor allem wird in den Lesungen der Schatz der Offenbarung, der in den 
Heiligen Schriften enthalten ist, in reicherem MaGe, als es in der MeGfeier moglich ist, 
ausgebreitet und durch Schriften der Vater und der anerkannten Lehrer des geistlichen 
Lebens erganzt. So tragt diese Feier zur Einiibung aller Teilnehmenden in den christlichen 
Glauben bei und befruchtet zugleich den priesterlichen Dienst der Verktindigung. [...] 
Andererseits soil die Vigil nicht nur eine "Lesehore" sein; vielmehr werden die Lesungen 
von meditativen Gebettexten umrahmt, damit diese Feier "ein Zwiegesprach zwischen 
Gott und Mensch werde; denn ihn sprechen wir an, wenn wir beten, inn horen wir, wenn wir 
die gbttlichen Worte lesen." Deshalb umfaGt die Vigil auch Hymnen, Psalmen, Preislieder, 
Versikel und Responsorien, sowie gegebenenfalls Orationen und Schweigepausen.' Die Feier 
des Stundengebetes. Monastisches Stundenbuch fur die Benediktiner des deutschen 
Sprachgebietes, vol. 1 Advent und Weihnachten (St. Ottilien: Eos Verlag, 1981), pp. 5 Iff. 
The quotation in this introduction is from Ambrosius, De officiis ministrorum 1 20,88: PL 
16,50. This contemporary characterization of Matins is therefore based on authorities who 
were equally recognized in Coma's time. 

1 5 'Die Laudes sind zur Heiligung der Morgenstunde bestimmt. Aus vielen ihrer Teile geht 
das deutlich hervor. Von der Besonderheit des Morgengebetes sagt der heilige Basilius: 
"Die Morgenhore soil mit den ersten Regungen unserer Seele und unseres Geistes Gott 
geweiht sein. Wir sollen nichts untemehmen, ehe wir im Gedanken an Gott froh geworden 
sind" [...] Diese Gebetsstunde im Licht des anbrechenden Tages ist auBerdem Gedachtnis 
der Auferstehung des Herrn Jesus.' Die Feier des Stundengebetes, p. 47. The exact times 
at which these offices are sung differ in the various orders. In addition, Lauds and 
Compline depend on sunrise and nightfall; the time of their celebration is therefore subject 
to the change of the seasons. 

16 'Diese volksnahen Gesange, die seit alters in der romischen Kirchze ihren festen Platz 
haben, driicken Lob und Dank fur die Erlbsung aus.' (ibid., p. 50). Lauds contain two 
Canticles, the Old Testament Canticle Benedicite and the New Testament Canticle 
Benedictus. Both were set polyphonically by Coma. 

17 'Den Laudes und der Vesper gebuhrt hohe Wertschatzung als Gebet der christlichen 
Gemeinde. Ihre offentliche und gemeinsame Feier soil daher besonders von denen 
gepflegt werden, die ein gemeinsames Leben fuhren' (ibid., p. 48). 

18 Ibid., pp. 52ff. 



Music for the Societa della Santa Croce in Cento 1 1 

both Hours as elaborate, individual services. They might, in fact, have advanced 
the nightly Hour of Matins and celebrated the service as a vigil on the eve of the 
following feast day, reuniting again in the morning to open the day with Lauds. 

However, the 'nightly endeavours' Coma mentions in his dedication might 
equally be taken at face value: on important occasions — for which these poly- 
phonic settings are doubtlessly conceived — the pious confratres might just as well 
have started the feast day with a Matins at 3 or 4 a.m., to be followed immediately 
by Lauds as the solemn opening of the day. In fact, there are several details in 
Coma's Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis that might support the hypothesis that 
the latter combination of Matins and Lauds was practised by the Societa della 
Santa Croce. According to the Antiphonale Romanum, Matins on Sundays and 
feast days of high rank have three Nocturns with three psalms each, 19 while on 
ferial days and feasts of simplex rank only the first Nocturn is prayed. Despite the 
designation 'Dominicis aliisque diebus festis' in his title, Coma includes only the 
first Nocturn of Matins among his polyphonic settings: the omission of the latter 
two Nocturns might be a measure to keep the combined services of Matin and 
Lauds at a tolerable length. This suggestion is supported by the fact that Coma 
does include a setting of the Te Deum: according to the Antiphonale Romanum 
this hymn is added to the third Nocturn only. Therefore, the Officium Beatae 
Mariae Virginis does offer the items for a solemn Matins to be celebrated on 
Sundays and feasts of high rank, but it reduces the polyphonic settings of the 
Nocturns to the first only. 20 

Another indication that Matins and Lauds might have been combined in the 
devotional practice of the Societa della Santa Croce is the omission of only the 
Invitatory to Lauds in Coma's collection. The Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis 
opens with the Invitatory Domine, labia mea aperies, which is prescribed for the 
opening of Sunday Matins in the case that this Hour immediately precedes 
Lauds. 21 Since a corresponding Invitatory for the following Lauds is not included, 
this order might reflect the liturgical practice of leading from Matins straight into 
Lauds, omitting the latter' s usual Invitatory. 22 

Finally, the linguistic usage in the prayer books of sixteenth-century con- 
fraternities might also add to our hypothetical reconstruction of a combined 
Matins and Lauds service as 'sanctissimas preces, & laudes' celebrated regularly 
by the Societa della Santa Croce: the term 'Matins' found in confraternities' 
prayer books with the Officium parvum (see above) does not refer to the nightly 



19 First Nocturn: Ps 8, Ps 18, Ps 23; Second Nocturn: Ps 44, Ps 45, Ps 47; Third Nocturn: 
Ps 95-97; see Josef Pascher, Das Stundengebet der romischen Kirche (Munich: Zink, 
1954), p. 192. 

20 Nevertheless, it may well be that the confraternity did recite the psalms of the other two 
Nocturns, either in plainchant or simply read out. 

21 If Matins is celebrated individually, though, it opens with some other versicle, but not 
with this Invitatory; see Die Feierdes Stundengebetes, p. 53. 

22 Ibid., pp. 62 and 53. 



12 Confraternitas 11:1 

prayer, but denotes the morning Office Lauds. 23 Thus, both terms seem to have 
been intimately linked in the religious practice of confraternities in Coma's time. 

In conclusion, Antonio Coma's print indeed seems to reflect a specific 
service that was performed regularly by the Societa della Santa Croce. The 
confratres probably met early in the morning to celebrate a combined service of 
Matins and Lauds, whose contents are especially suitable for the devotional needs 
of the laity. 

The remainder of Coma's collection, fragments of the Mass and of Vespers 
and Compline, suggests that confraternity's liturgical activities did not end with 
the celebration of Lauds. However, the fragmentary state of these services in 
Coma's collection implies that the liturgical celebration must have been carried 
out in combination with other groups. In this case, the person of the composer 
and the context of musical life in Cento may offer some answers. 

2. Antonio Coma and Musical Life in Cento 

Although we lack information about the Societa della Santa Croce, we have at 
least some biographical data about Antonio Coma, who, according to his dedica- 
tion, was a member of this confraternity. Born in 1560 in Cento, in 1589 Coma 
became the first chapel master of the collegiate church San Biagio, where Mass 
and the Office Hours had been performed in chant daily since 1517. With the 
elevation in 1586 of the Chiesa di San Biagio to the collegiate church of Cento, 
the lay singers received the official status of a cappella. Upon his nomination, 
Coma was obliged to 'celebrate in music with thirteen voices every feast decreed 
by the Mother Church, Holy Week, and the Mass and Vespers that are usually 
sung; and also to have sung for our Community the Messa del Burgnago.' The 



23 Schnitzler, p. 94. 

24 See Oscar Mischiati's entry 'Coma, Antonio' in the Dizionario biografico degli Italiani 
(Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana/Societa Grafica Romana, 1984), vol. 21, pp. 
51 Of; Cinque secoli di musica nella terra di Cento, ed. Adriano Orlandini (Cento: Cassa 
di Risparmio di Cento, 1989), vol. 2, La musica sacra e strumentale, pp. 3-5 and pp. 
86-90; Linda Maria Koldau's entry 'Comi, Antonio' in Die Musik in Geschichte und 
Gegenwart. Zweite, neubearbeitete Auflage, ed. Ludwig Finscher (Kassel/Stuttgart: 
Barenreiter and Metzler, forthcoming), vol. 3. Coma's birth name is Comi, derived from 
Como, his father's home town; however, his publications and the entries in various 
documents indicate that he was generally called Coma. 

25 In 1 5 17, the clergy began to sing the Divina Salmodia in San Biagio. Their initiative was 
recognized by the community of Cento in 1521 with an annual salary of 100 lire. In 1527 
the post of a maestro di canto was established to teach the chant to the clergy and to direct 
the daily Offices; Orlandini, pp. 3ff. 

26 The detailed history of the cappella of San Biagio is recounted in Nedda Alberghini, Storia 
della cappella musicale del duomo di S. Biagio in Cento dalle origini alia meta del secolo 
XVIII, MA. dissertation, Universita di Bologna, 1986. 

27 'cantar musicalmente co tredeci voci ogni festa comandata dalla S. Madre Chiesa, et la 
Settimana Santa et le Messe et Vespri soliti a cantarsi et far cantar per la Comunita et la 
Messa del Burgnago.' (quoted in Orlandini, pp. 3ff). The Messa del Burgnago was a 



Music for the Societa della Santa Croce in Cento 1 3 

fact that in c. 1 620 Coma added a permanent instrumental ensemble to the cappella 
consisting of musically active citizens of Cento shows that there was a consider- 
able desire in this town to embellish the liturgical services at the principal 
church. Coma also taught and directed the musical activities at the Accademia 

29 

dell 'Aurora, and his four extant collections of church music are dedicated to the 
chapter of San Biagio, to the Community of Cento, and to two Centese COn- 
fraternities, the Confraternita di Santa Maria and the Societa della Santa Croce. 
Coma was obviously the key man in the musical life of Cento. His eldest son 
Giovanni Antonio (baptized in 1593) succeeded Coma as maestro di cappella 
upon his death in 1629, while the youngest, Stefano (baptized in 1601), served as 
organist in San Biagio from 1621 onwards. 

With regard to Coma's Officium Beatae Maria Virginis and its use by the 
Societa della Santa Croce, the musical infrastructure of the collegiate church of 
San Biagio is of particular interest. The cappella consisted of musically gifted, 
but not necessarily professional, citizens. Judging from Coma's preface and from 
the astonishing amount of music that was evidently used in the services of the 
Societa della Santa Croce, it is quite likely that some or perhaps even the majority 
of the confratres also served as singers in the cappella of San Biagio. In other 
Italian cities, too, there was a significant overlap of personnel between the 
established cappelle of principal churches and confraternities who needed musi- 
cians for their festive services. 32 Although the Societa della Santa Croce was 



Requiem Mass for Bartolomeo Uggeri, Bishop of Brugneto (or, in Centese dialect, 
Burgnago), celebrated in Cento until the middle of the nineteenth century. 

28 On special occasions, Coma even engaged extra musicians from out of town to enhance 
the solemnity of the liturgical celebrations in San Biagio. 

29 In fact, the instrumental ensemble that played in San Biagio belonged to the Accademia 
dell' Aurora; the musicians received their instruction from Coma in the academy. 

30 The titles of the collections are Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis, quod Dominicis aliisque 
diebus festis a Societatibus decantari solet, 5 vols. (Venice: Amadino, 1606), dedicated 
to the Societa della Santa Croce; Missae quattuor, quinque et octo vocum, et una pro 
defunctis, in fine Litaniae Sacratissimae Coelorum Regina (Venice: Amadino, 1607), 
dedicated to the Confraternita di Santa Maria; Psalmi omnes qui in Vesperis decantantur 
quinque vocibus cum tribus B. M. Canticis, op. 3 (Venice: Amadino, 1609), dedicated to 
the Chapter of San Biagio; Sacrae Cantiones, op. 4 (Bologna: Eredi di Giovanni Rossi, 
1614), dedicated to the community of Cento. While there is very little information on the 
Societa della Santa Croce, the artistic activities of the Confraternita di Santa Maria are 
better documented: see Oscar Mischiati, Tradizioni artistiche della Confraternita di Santa 
Maria dell'Ospedale di Cento' in L'Ospedale di Cento nei secoli (Cento: Cassa di 
Risparmio di Cento, 1975). 

3 1 The middle son Giacomo (baptized in 1 596) was obviously an active musician, too. Today, 
only three of his motets are known, included by his father Antonio in the Sacrae Cantiones 
of 1614. 

32 Again, Venice may serve as ground for comparison: both the scuole grandi and the scuole 
piccole hired staff from the cappella di San Marco or even employed them on a regular 
basis. Giovanni Gabrieli, the famous organist of San Marco, was hired as organist by the 
Scuola di San Rocco in 1585 and served there for the rest of his life: see Denis Arnold, 



14 Confraternitas 11:1 

associated with a church of its own, the homonymous Chiesa di Santa Croce, it 
is quite probable that its members would also sing in the regular liturgical services 
at San Biagio and in other places in town, whenever there was a demand for 
singers. Given such a union of confraternity and cappella members, it is conceiv- 
able that the liturgy of an important feast day would be divided between the 
confraternity and its associated church and performed by the same musical 
personnel. Thus, the Societa might have been responsible for an adequately 
solemn opening of the day with an elaborate celebration of Matins and Lauds, 
while the church of Santa Croce would pay the singers for the musical embellish- 
ment of the main services, Mass, Vespers, and Compline. Coma's settings of parts 
of the latter services might in fact allude to such a division of responsibilities 
between the confraternity and its associate church. 

It is in this hypothetical distribution of forces where the surprising plural 
form of the title might come into play: Coma states that the Officium Beatae 
Mariae Virginis is usually sung a societatibus. Given his dedication of the text 
to a single confraternity, one would have expected the singular form societatis? 3 
Does Coma's wording therefore imply that the other confraternities of Cento — or 
even beyond the confines of the small town — would all embellish their celebra- 
tion of these two rather unusual Hours of the Office with musical settings in 
five-part polyphony? Given the limited musical resources in Cento, this could 
hardly have been the case. If Coma's plural form is taken at face value, it is, rather, 
imaginable that for special festive occasions, the various lay societies would unite 
to celebrate the religious services together with an adequately solemn musical 
setting provided by the Societa della Santa Croce. After all, this confraternity 
counted among its members Antonio Coma, the central musical personality of 
Cento, who emphatically praises the devotional musical activities of his con- 
fratres in his preface to the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis. To other con- 
fraternities, on the other hand, the musical adornment of their services would 
hardly have been of primary interest, since the main concern of confraternities 
generally was charity and liturgical activities. Therefore, extending the hypothe- 
sis of divided responsibilities even further, it is also conceivable that on important 
Marian feasts and perhaps even regularly on Sundays, the Societa della Santa 
Croce played the role of an umbrella organization for the various confraternities 
of Cento, offering the societatibus mentioned by Coma an adequate musical 
setting of the liturgical celebrations. 



Giovanni Gabrieli and the Music of the Venetian High Renaissance (London: Dent, 1 979), 
pp. 199ff. This long-term service and his relatively low salary may indicate that the 
Gabrieli had actually been granted membership in this high-ranking confraternity. For the 
activities of other renowned musicians in the Venetian scuole see Eleanor Selfridge-Field, 
Venetian Instrumental Music from Gabrieli to Vivaldi, 3rd rev. ed. (New York: Dover 
Publications, 1994), pp. 34ff, and Jonathan Glixon's articles mentioned above. 
33 He obviously does not mean the several members of the Societa della Santa Croce, which 
would call for the ablative plural form of socius, that is, sociis. 



Music for the Societa della Santa Croce in Cento 1 5 

Such an outstanding status of the Societa della Santa Croce among the 
citizens of Cento might also be confirmed simply by the existence of Coma's 
print. The Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis was by no means issued by some 
small local publisher, as might be expected with a collection of such unusual 
contents and scope. On the contrary, Coma's settings of Matins and Lauds were 
published by Ricciardo Amadino, at that time the most renowned firm in the 
printing industry of Venice. Since it is unlikely that a commercial publisher would 
have undertaken the publication of a collection that — according to the standard 
of collections with liturgical music of the early Seicento — would hardly have been 
of use to the cappelle in any other town, it was presumably the Societa della Santa 
Croce itself who financed the printing of its own liturgical repertory. 34 Antonio 
Coma's 'monument and cheerful pledge' might in fact have been the monument 
that a relatively wealthy and artistically interested confraternity created for itself 
in order to eternalize its singular devotional practices. 

3. The Music in the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis 

Finally, some additional information about the Societa della Santa Croce can be 
gathered from the music itself. If the members' singing of praise, referred to by 
Coma in his preface, is indeed reflected in his compositions, then the confraternity 
must have had a number of talented singers among its members: although the style 
of Coma's five-voice compositions is rather simple and basically chordal, the 
performance of these pieces does demand some musical training, since Coma adds 
musical sophistication by occasional imitations and the frequent variation of the 
voice groupings. While retaining a relative simplicity of style, Coma creates 
well-balanced musical settings whose homogeneous sonority reveals their roots 
in the traditions of 16th-century polyphony. 

Coma's musical aims are entirely liturgical, serving the clear and brief 
declamation of the liturgical texts. Thus, every setting is opened by its prescribed 
intonation in Gregorian chant, and the voices mainly proceed in chordal decla- 
mation, which guarantees the comprehensibility of the liturgical text, a concern 
debated at the Council of Trent. 35 Except for the Invitatories, every piece is set 
alternatim, which was common in this sort of simple musical setting of liturgical 
texts: polyphonic verses alternate with recitation in plainchant or falsobordone. 36 
Thus, lengthy texts like the conflated Lauds Psalm 148-150, Laudate Dominum 
de coelis, the Te Deum, or the Credo can be delivered relatively quickly. More- 



34 Again, this would explain the printing of the confraternity's device on the title page. 

35 For the Council of Trent and its decrees on church music, see Karl Weinmann, Das Konzil 
von Trient und die Kirchenmusik (Leipzig: Breitkopf und Hartel, 1919; rpt. Hildesheim: 
Olms, 1980); on the Council's specific musical influence in post-Tridentine Italy see 
Lewis Lockwood, The Counter-Reformation and the Masses ofVincenzo Ruffo. Studi di 
musica veneta 2 (Venice: Fondazione Levi, 1970). 

36 Falsobordone is the chordal recitation of the Gregorian chant in four-part harmony with 
embellished cadences. 



1 6 Confrate rnitas 11:1 

over, Coma avoids text repetition; points of imitation serve only as a short relief 
in the otherwise chordal declamation (ex. 1). 

Compared to the other items, the Magnificat appears to be more sophisti- 
cated, with longer points of imitation and more conspicuous changes in the 
texture. However, it is these very aspects that reveal Coma's grounding in the 
conventions of sixteenth-century compositional practice: his Magnificat primi 
toni corresponds exactly to the 'ideal' described by Pietro Ponzio (Ragionamento 
di musica, Parma, 1588) and Pietro Cerone (El Melopeo y maestro, Naples, 
1613). 37 In their recommendations regarding how the Psalms and the Magnificat 
should be set, both authors describe the practice of the previous few decades. 38 
Characteristically, Coma's Magnificat reflects the requirement of brevity and 
clarity in the setting of psalm texts and of the Magnificat. However, as recom- 
mended by Ponzio, its polyphonic opening does indeed display a 'piu dotto stile' 
in comparison to the Psalm settings in the Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis? 9 As 
prescribed by Cerone, the verses 'Et misericordia' and 'Deposuit potentes' are 
written for reduced numbers, allowing for some textural and compositional 
variety, 40 and the 'Gloria Patri' with its length of 22 bars seems to illustrate the 
suggestion that the final polyphonic verse should be composed in a more elaborate 
style. Although the Gregorian tone (cantus firmus) is not exposed as conspicu- 
ously in every verse as it is in the compositions cited by Ponzio and Cerone, its 
characteristic melodic outline gives shape to the soggetti in every verse (ex. 2a 
and 2b). 

Nevertheless, Coma's Magnificat remains modest in scope and thus fits 
ideally into his liturgical collection for the Societa della Santa Croce. Although 



37 On Ponzio' s and Cerone' s suggestions for the composition of Psalm and Magnificat 
settings see James Armstrong, 'How to Compose a Psalm: Ponzio and Cerone Compared' 
Studi Musicali 1 (1978), pp. 103-139. Apart from the aspects that are characteristic of 
Psalm and Magnificat composition, Coma's Magnificat primi toni gives an example of a 
regular modal disposition (transposed first mode on G with final cadences on G and 
mediant cadences on D, B flat, and G) and imitative procedure (imitation at the interval 
of a fifth or an octave and regular spaces between the entries). 

38 Ponzio cites composers whose prints were available by the middle of the sixteenth century; 
Cerone adds the generation flourishing in the 1570s to 1590s. Their conservative standpoint 
is also revealed in the focus on four-part polyphony (both ignore the fact that larger 
groupings became usual in the late sixteenth century), in their strict insistence on retaining 
the cantus firmus throughout every verse of the setting, and in the modal practice they 
describe: see Armstrong, pp. 106-109. 

39 'Volendo far un Magnificat; ancora che sia veramente un Salmo; nondimeno e uno delli 
osservati, quale sempre si fa solenne, & percio conviene esser fatto con piu dotto stile; & 
osservare, che tutte le parti facciano la imitatione del canto Piano.' Pietro Ponzio, 
Ragionamento di musica (Parma: E. Viotto, 1588; facsimile ed. by Suzanne Clercx, Kassel: 
Barenreiter, 1959), p. 157. Coma does not go to the extremes granted by Ponzio and Cerone, 
who permit the voices to enter after a space of up to four breves (ibid., p. 109). 

40 In the verse 'Deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles,' Coma reflects the textual 
contrast by opposing the imitative bicinium 'Deposuit potentes de sede' with a full, 
chordal entry on 'et exaltavit.' 



Music for the Societa delta Santa Croce in Cento 1 7 

in general the complete polyphonic setting of Matins and Lauds seems to be 
surprisingly lavish for the religious practice of a confraternity in a small town, 
the style of Coma's compositions could well be mastered by trained lay singers. 
Obviously, it is the liturgical function that is essential to this music, which serves 
as a sonorous adornment only. 

Antonio Coma's Officium Beatae Maria Virginis therefore offers an intri- 
guing document of the religious practice of a confraternity whose activities in the 
early seventeenth century are otherwise unknown today. Through Coma's pref- 
ace, the contents, and the style of this music we know that the Societa della Santa 
Croce met regularly for its religious services. We can presume that it celebrated 
with significant musical solemnity an elaborate combination of Matins and Lauds 
and that a considerable number of its members were involved in the musical 
embellishment of the religious services of their confraternity, and probably also 
of other religious institutions in Cento. Finally, the fact that this confraternity 
financed a text as unusual as the Officium Beatae Maria Virginis might imply that 
the Societa as a whole as well as its individual members were of high social 
standing in the society of this little town. Coma's 'monument of gratitude' 
therefore appears as a musical monument of this confraternity' s singular religious 
practice and of its leading role in the devout society of Cento. 

University of Bonn 



1 8 Confrate rnitas 11:1 



Ex. 1 : Antonio Coma, Lauds Psalm Dominus regnavit orbem terrae (1606) 



Quuitua 









Et 


■ • 


nun fir • 


ma 


vit 


or 


b«m 


i* 


no 


qui 








Et 


• - 


mm fir - 


mi 


vit 


Of 


- bam 


tar - 


raa 


qui 




Do • mi • no* ra-gna-vit da 


» • » v 4. 4. v 
-co - ran ia-du-rufaat 


Et 


■ - 


mm fir - 


mi 


•vit 


Of 


.- 


tar 




XT 

raa 


qui 




Et 


• - 


nim fir - 


ma 


• vh 




or -barn 


tar 




rat 


qui 




Ji 


!L1— 


K — 


— - — 


4— 






m 






















O | 1 



Et t - mm fir - ma • vit or - bam tar raa qui 



com • mo - va - hi - pit, E-la-va • va - runt, a la - va • va • runt llu__ -mi-na Do • mi - na, a la- va-va 



noa com-mo - va - bi tar. E-la-va - va - runt, a - la - va - va-rant flu -mi-na Do-mi- na, a - la-va-va- 





fla - mi-na vo-cam n 



Mi ra- n - In 



a - la - b - o ■ 



ma na. 






Music for the Socieia della Santa Croce in Cento 1 9 



Ex. 1 {cont'd) 




mi - ra • bt - ki m *l-tii Do mi- nwi. Olo • ri • t Pi • in « Fi ■ b - o rt Spin -w i Sai-cto, 




ct Spi • ri • tu 



S« cto. 



..41 



Ex. 2a: 41 Magnificat Tone 1 



T«iw priwu Slmpkti 




1 M'-Sni-f.-c.t /t.Bi.M 

2. Et « - lul-u-vii ,p,-ri.tM, me - m /mDe-o M . | u 

3. Qui -i re-ipe-xii hu-mi- Ji • i|.imni . e il - Ue su 



me-t Do . mi • num. 
u . ri me o. 



ae: /ec~ce e-nttnexboc be-*-umme di-cent 



omnes ge-ne-rt-u . o . „« 



41. Taken from: Antiphonale romano-seraphicumprohorisdiurnis (Paris: Typis Societas 
S. Ioannis Evangelistae, Desclee, 1928), p. 500. 



20 Confraternitas 11:1 



Ex. 2b: Antonio Coma, Magnificat (1606) 





• ni • ma 



A ni • mi 



Do • mi num. Qui • a re • a?c -ait mi • mi • li • ta tan u - ci - lac au ac. 



Qui -a re ■ *>e - xt hu • mi-li-la • Ion an - a - lac au - at 




nw • a, • ni - ma nw-a Da-mi- num. 




Ec • ca a 



am-ntt fc-nt-ra u a nci._ 



Music for the Societa delta Santa Croce in Cento 21 



Ex. 2b: {cont'd) 






D c« tl u y* hu 



B » • >l • u • v* hu 



So ia • pi h - rt . cl iu • ict ■ p* li ■ re - >l pu 



Su k> ■ pH li - re • «l ki • to • p( li • re ■ d pu- 



s = r ir r ir r m r r r i " i " 1 1 i i i i r r i .1 j ii 



B c« - al U v* hu 



Su ux ■ p* li - n el. 




j ■• ' ■' n 1 1 ,1 s 



1 1 1 1 iii ij 1 1 1 1 1 1 i| | 



■u urn. 



- rm iu 



He cor d. 



j)' 1 -1 Li'iJ'J'J M jjj) j g j_u,j 1 j jjj.ui 1 ., r 11 



A 1 j j j j I j ■ 1 1 _ I 



i j. j.jj^ju ^ 



s 



1 1 1 ■ i ' 1 1 r r r 1 1 r 1 " i f i r Tt r J i r r i p^e 



mm mi um Re - tor di tui 



22 Confraternitas 11:1 



Ex. 2b: (cont'd) 



i j j i r n " i r r.r r I p Si I B B 11 .. i r r i ■• \ « I r r i 



n car 4 • »e 



<n. gla • ri- 



a f i r J I ' MM' i I J J _ i J i > I J, I ' i I J J 1 1 I 



<* »« w. 



Olo ri • ■ Pi In, 



J 'J J U J i 56 ! 

mi • m - ri cor • dl - K w 



1 I I I I I I | lisigg 



UU all 



ri - cor - di • u ai 



Olo ri • • Pi- 



1 r r r r i r r f r i r r i ■ i - 1 1 i - i -- h ■ i ^^ 



m i " i " Tr r i l r r i - i j i ■ i j p r r jj \ i I T" i I 




d Fi - K • • 



Spi ■ ri_ 



gla • ri • i P» 



j j I i_ i , J uj j i j i iuj j i i j i j i i i i J j J j i J J j J J i 



n ■ i P. 



<t Fi • li • o tt Fi • li ■ a el Spi - ri_ 



San . clo. at _ Spi- 



% j jJJ J J I I I I I 



al Fi - li • a at Spi • n " _ • tu • i San do. at Spi- 

i = j g r 1 1 i i i i = it^ 



(ri, gla • ri - • Fi 



m - i r r i j i - i 



ri a Ft 



at Fi • k - a 




Theses Completed (Abstracts) 

Earenfight, Phillip Joseph. The Residence and Loggia della Misericordia (il Bigallo): 
Art and Architecture of Confraternal Piety, Charity, and Virtue in Late Medieval 
Florence. Ph.D. thesis, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, October 1999. 
Supervisor: Sarah Blake McHam. 

This dissertation considers the art and architecture of the residence and loggia of 
the Compagnia di Santa Maria della Misericordia. The Misericordia was one of 
the largest charitable confraternities in late medieval Florence. It was located on 
the Piazza San Giovanni, near the Baptistry, Campanile, and Duomo, in the 
physical and symbolic center of the city. At this highly prestigious location the 
confraternity provided services to the city's needy and stood as a public symbol 
of Florentine charity and civic virtue. 

The research presented here focuses on a series of projects commissioned by 
the Misericordia from its move to Piazza San Giovanni in 1321 to its merger in 
1425 with another confraternity, the Compagnia di Santa Maria del Bigallo (by 
which the site is known today). It is a study of artistic patronage, specifically how 
a lay pious institution defined its charitable mission through its art and architec- 
ture during a period of tremendous urban development, intense lay piety, horrific 
plagues, and the rise of Renaissance humanism. 

The dissertation addresses five major topics: (1) the acquisition of property 
on the Piazza San Giovanni; (2) a fresco representing an Allegory of Divine 
Misericordia\ (3) the expansion of the Misericordia' s residence through the 
acquisition of neighbouring property and the subsequent design, construction, and 
decoration of a new loggia and oratory; (4) a fresco cycle representing the life of 
Tobit, the confraternity's patron saint; and (5) a fresco representing Members of 
the Misericordia Uniting Foundlings with Natural and Adoptive Parents. 

This study is the first to draw together these projects and interpret them as a 
means to understand the confraternity and how it defined its place in the complex 
urban and social fabric of Trecento Florence. Analysis of these projects demon- 
strates that over the course of the Trecento the Misericordia identified its pious 
mission as a crucial feature in the city's religious and civic well-being. Moreover, 
it reveals that the confraternity commissioned two of the earliest surviving views 
of the city, promoted Florence as the New Jerusalem, and identified itself as the 
foremost institution of Florentine charity and symbol of that virtue in the city. 



23 



News 

Prize winners among our confraternity scholars! Congratulations are in order for 
David Michael D' Andrea, whose thesis Civic Christianity in Fifteenth-Century 
Treviso: The Confraternity and Hospital of Santa Maria dei Battuti (University 
of Virginia, 1999), featured on pp. 16-17 of the last issue of Confraternitas, was 
awarded the prize for best unpublished manuscript from The Society for Italian 
Historical Studies. Congratulations are also due to Konrad Eisenbichler, whose 
book The Boys of the Archangel Raphael. A Youth Confraternity in Florence, 
1411-1785 (University of Toronto Press, 1998), received the 1999 Hellen and 
Howard Marraro Prize for best book on Italian history awarded by the American 
Catholic Historical Association. Both awards were announced at the meetings of 
the two affiliates of the American Historical Association this past 7-8 January. 

Confraternity studies is attracting attention! At the recent meetings of the 
Renaissance Society of America (held in Florence, Italy), the Executive of the 
RSA decided that its plenary session on "Recent Trends" for the 2003 meetings 
in Toronto would be devoted to confraternity studies. It is, indeed, an honour for 
all of us working in the field to have had our special area of interest recognized 
in such a way by one of the most illustrious organizations in Renaissance studies 
in the world. 

At that same meeting of the Renaissance Society of America our Society 
sponsored a session on confraternities. Organized by Nicholas Terpstra, the 
session was devoted to "Symbolic kinship and social needs: charity, devotion, 
and socialization in Renaissance confraternities." The speakers were Marina 
Gazzini (Universita di Parma) "Patriziati urbani e spazi confraternali in eta 
rinascimentale: l'esempio di Milano"; Ilaria Taddei (Universite de Grenoble) 
"Emergence and development of youth confraternities in Quattrocento Florence"; 
and Sharon Strocchia (Emory University) "The nuns of Sant'Ambrogio and their 
consorority in early sixteenth-century Florence." The session was held in the 
historic Refettorio Grande of the Dominican convent of San Marco, now used as 
the main display hall of the Museo di San Marco. 

The presentations in our session were not the only ones at the RSA to touch on 
confraternities. Christopher Carlsmith spoke on "'Who shall teach the children?': 
Jesuits, Somaschans, and civic education in Bergamo, 1570-1640"; Philip Gavitt on 
"Gender, pedagogy, and ritual in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Tuscan charity"; 
Nicholas Terpstra on "Center and periphery in sixteenth-century Tuscan poor relief; 
Nicholas Eckstein on "In search of the people: an interim report on Florentine 
confraternities and lay-religious life in the early Cinquecento"; Giuseppina De 
Sandre Gasparini on "L'inquadramento religioso dei fedeli: istituzioni e 
associazionismo devoto." 

For the March 2001 meetings of the Renaissance Society of America in 
Chicago Nick Terpstra has organized two sessions on confraternities under the 
sponsorship of the SCS, one on music and the other on education. 






News 25 

The first is entitled 'Musical Innovation in Renaissance Confraternities.' It 

is chaired by William Bowen (University of Toronto), and consists of Bruno 
Bouckaert (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) speaking on 'Confraternities and music 
in the county of Artois until c.1600', Magnus Williamson (University of Newcastle 
upon Tyne) speaking on '"Cunning singing men": John Taverner, William Tyndale 
and the Guild of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Boston, in the reign of Henry VIII' and 
Kirin Nielsen (Ripon College) speaking on 'Palestrina's Madrigals and the Company 
of Ss.ma Trinita dei Pellegrini in Rome.' 

The second session is entitled 'Education and Socialization in Confraternit- 
ies.' Chris Carlsmith will chair, and the participants will be Phillip J. Earenfight 
(Juniata College Museum of Art), speaking on 'Mnemonics, Catechism, and the 
Allegory of Divine Misericordia: How a Trecento Florentine Confraternity Instructed 
its Members in Christian Theology through Image and Text', Roni Weinstein (Beer- 
Sheva University, Israel), on 'The role of Jewish confraternities in Italy during the 
Catholic Reformation' and Paul Trio (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven an Campus 
Kortrijk) on 'The social role of confraternities in the Low Countries in the 15th and 
16th century.' 

The Society will be sponsoring one session at this November's meetings of the 
Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, in Cleveland, OH. The session, organ- 
ized by Nicholas Terpstra, is entitled "Homes Away from Home: Charitable Care 
for Infants, Adolescents, and the Aged" and will feature David D' Andrea (Okla- 
homa State University) speaking on "Child Abandonment and Charitable Shelter 
in Renaissance Treviso", Nicholas Terpstra (University of Toronto) on "(Good) 
Girls in Trouble: Rank and Recruitment in Renaissance Italian Conservatories" 
and Michael Milway (Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Toronto) 
on "Priesterbruderschaften as Surrogate Homes for Retired Clergy." 

Remember to send a copy of your articles and books to C onf rater nitas. Please 
address them to: Confraternitas, CRRS, Victoria College, University of Toronto, 
Toronto Ontario M5S 1K7, Canada. All contributions will be listed in the 
"Publications Received" rubric and then deposited into the Confraternities Col- 
lection at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. 

Help us spread the good news about confraternity studies. You can do so by 

asking your library to subscribe to Confraternitas and to order back issues (the 
entire run of back issues from 1990 to 1998 can be purchased for only $75, 
including postage). Then, let your friends and colleagues, and especially your 
students, working on matters confraternal know of our existence and urge them 
to become members (especially now that the Directory of Members is about to be 
published). 



Reviews 



Chiesa e religiosita popolare a Peschici, ed. Teresa Maria Rauzino, "Presentazione" 
by Liana Bertoldi Lenoci. Peschici: Centro Studi Giuseppe Martella, 1999. 287 pp., 
illustrations 

Peschici is an enchanting medieval town perched on a rock cliff jutting into the 
sea from the promontory of Galgano, in Puglia. Founded in 970 by order of 
Emperor Otto I (912-973) as part of a defense line against Moslem penetration 
into the southern Adriatic, over the centuries Peschici acquired the characteristics, 
both physical and cultural, of a town fortified against Infidel threats. Its fortress, 
its look-out towers, even its location on the tip of a high rock that towers over the 
Adriatic bespeak of its strategic importance, while its history reflects the vicissi- 
tudes and hardships of the outpost, solitary in its existence, proud of its ability to 
survive, and self-reliant to an extreme. 

This first volume by the newly-founded pro loco 'Centro Studi "Giuseppe 
Martella'" is a pioneering work in the ecclesiastical and religious history of this 
small outpost. Its eight essays, collected and edited by Liana Bertoldi Lenoci and 
Teresa Maria Rauzino, run the gamut from an examination of the origins and 
characteristics of the local cult of the prophet Elijah (Libera Iervolino), to an 
analysis of the 1675-78 pastoral visitation by Cardinal Vincenzo Maria Orsini 
(Grazia Silvestri), to the socio-demographic aspects of seventeenth- and eigh- 
teenth-century Peschici (Teresa Maria Rauzino), to the connections between its 
religious architecture and its popular religion (Michel' Antonio Piemontese), to a 
detailed analysis of current scholarship on the Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria 
di Calena, near Peschici (Teresa Maria Rauzino), to a study of the 1979-86 
artworks by Alfredo Bortoluzzi for the church of Sant'Elia (Tiziana Luisi), to 
some concluding remarks on Professor Giuseppe Martella by his colleague and 
friend Filippo Fiorentino. 

Readers of Confraternitas will be most interested, however, in Liana Bertoldi 
Lenoci's hefty contribution on the confraternities of Peschici (pp. 97-147). 
Lenoci contextualizes the presence of Peschici's confraternities not only within 
the vast European confraternal movement, but also within the small, isolated 
town's desperate need for mutual assistance. While the monte frumentario and 
the monte pecuniario provided the impoverished town folk with material help, 
the town's two confraternities — the 'Confraternita del SS.mo Sacramento' and 
the 'Confraternita del Purgatorio' — tended to their spiritual needs. Because of the 
vicissitudes of history, and in particular because of military incursions and 
destruction, no archival documentation on these confraternities survives from 
before 1675, the date of Cardinal Orsini's visitation, when it was noted that the 
Confraternity of the Sacrament housed in the church of Sant'Elia had been erected 
ah immemorabilis. Later documentation, on the other hand, becomes richer as it 
draws closer to the present. 



26 



Reviews 27 

While clearly a work of local history intended for a fairly local readership, 
this volume nonetheless reflects what we are starting to appreciate about lay 
religious organizations in Southern Italy: the vitality and longevity of their 
presence in the region and the unfortunate paucity of documentation from before 
the eighteenth or, in some cases, even the nineteenth century. The work of 
documenting their presence and analyzing their role in the spiritual, social, 
artistic, and even economic life of the population — spearheaded as it is by the 
Centro Ricerche Storia Religiosa in Puglia and, in this case, by the Centro Studi 
'Giuseppe Martella' — is continuing. 

Konrad Eisenbichler 
Victoria College 
University of Toronto 

Gli Innocenti e Firenze nei secoli. Un ospedale, un archivio, una citta, ed. Lucia 
Sandri. Firenze: SPES Studio per Edizioni Scelte, 1996. 199 pp., ill. ISBN 88-7242- 
2752 

The Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence is one of the best-known orphanages in 
the world. Among the first purpose-built foundling homes in Europe, it gained its 
high profile as much from Brunelleschi's fine building as from the thousands of 
children who passed through its wheel and door from the fifteenth through to the 
twentieth century. Scholars like Richard Trexler, Philip Gavitt, and Lucia Sandri 
have written valuable articles and monographs on the strength of its well-pre- 
served archives, finding in its operation either the institutional machinery for the 
gender-selective genocide of Florentine foundlings (Trexler) or the communal 
effort to preserve population in the face of crisis-levels of abandonment (Gavitt). 
With this collection, we see more of the texture of life within the Innocenti' s 
walls, and the impact it had on cultural and economic life in Florence and its 
hinterland. Though richly illustrated, it is not the kind of empty coffee-table book 
whose volume and weight are in inverse proportion to its scholarly contribution. The 
individual articles, while short, are well-documented pieces by respected histori- 
ans who draw on both the Innocenti' s archives and the scholarly work of the past 
three decades. Three articles by Richard Goldthwaite sketch the Innocenti 's origins, 
construction, and place in local artistic culture. Two articles by Giuseppina 
Romby lay out both the expansion of the physical fabric and the image of the 
home from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Lucia Sandri describes 
in vivid terms the care given to children, while Allen Grieco expands with 
customary insight on the social, medical, and economic aspects of food purchases 
and institutional diet in the Quattrocento. Simona Gelli and Giuliano Pinto discuss 
the expansion and exploitation of the Innocenti' s rural holdings, while Laura 
Cavazzini surveys its collection of paintings and sculpture. Bruno Dini reviews 
the archival materials having to do with the Innocenti' s sponsor, the Silk Guild, 
and its economic role in the city. 



28 Confraternitas 11:1 

In short, this is a wide ranging collection which manages to offer scholarly 
substance in a more accessible format. While it cannot match the academic 
contribution of the articles and monographs written on the Innocenti over the past 
three decades, it conveys more immediately the compelling character of the place 
and its history. 

Nicholas Terpstra 
Department of History 
University of Toronto 

Kowalski, Waldemar. Uposazenie parafii archidiakonatu Sandomierskiego w XV- 
XVHI wieku [transl: The Revenues of Parochial Institutions in the Sandomierz 
Archdeaconry in the 15 th -18 th Centuries] Kielce: Wyzsza Szkola Pedegogiczna im. 
Jana Kochanowskiego, 1998. 400 pp., 3 maps ISBN 83-7133-102-9 

This book investigates the revenues of the parochial institutions in the Sandomierz 
archdeaconry from the fifteenth through to the eighteenth century. After the 
capital, Warsaw, Sandomierz was the second important city in the religious life 
of Poland. The author concentrates primarily on the archdeaconry's institutions 
such as: vicarages, chapels, poorhouses and confraternities. He also discusses the 
economic conditions of vicars, curates, chaplains, clerical and lay staff. The issue 
of fixed and irregular incomes is present throughout the book. This study supports 
the traditional hypothesis that even in times of economic hardship the clergy and 
lay staff could expect to have a better life. 

Divided into two parts, the first consisting of a narrative and the second, more 
extensive, of statistics, this meticulous and detailed study gives the reader a 
picture not only of the situation, actions, and behaviour of the clergy, but also of 
the relationship between the clergy and the peasants. In the narrative part, 
Kowalski starts with the history of Sandomierz, going back to the 1470s, when 
the first extant account book was compiled. Chapter one also discusses the general 
geography of the region. The author then turns to the vicar's homestead, his 
income, and the incomes of clerical and lay service staff. The final section 
concentrates on the total, global revenue and structure of the benefices income 
and expenditure. Considering the fact that in Sandomierz non-agricultural activity 
was limited to a minimum, Kowalski describes the benefice productions, such as 
livestock, harvest, taverns or liquor. 

Perhaps the most interesting are the forms of income of the vicars. The author 
points out that tithes were the most important source of all incomes which did not 
come from the homestead (sheaf tithes predominated). According to him, there 
is no question that revenues obtained from iura stolae — baptismal, marriage, and 
burial offerings — played a crucial role and were excluded from registration. The 
author found numerous examples of the clergy's rapacity, and stressed that the 
vicars pressed for these revenues, even though the church did not require them. 
This income was augmented by revenues "for the Mass," "for the table," "for the 
Christmas visit" and by offerings into the church money box on Sunday. 



Reviews 29 

The second part of the book contains statistics of the number of people 
registered in a parish, the number of marriages, baptisms, communions, confes- 
sions, income collected per parish, and even the quantity of livestock and harvest. 
Given the difficulty of the material and its detailed nature the statistical method 
was necessary. The author also used other sources, which were equally vital to his 
research: the Liber Beneficiorum Diocesis Cracoviensis, the Liber Retaxationum 
Diocesis Cracoviensis, registers, poll tax rolls and inspection records. 

Even though the statistical study is not the most appreciated by the reader 
because of its highly detailed and numeric nature, this book puts it to proper use. 
This work is a path-breaking study, which assesses the economic situation of the 
clergy as well as the lay people. Still, the question that should be developed is 
whether the tithes were given out of the people's free will, or requested by the 
church. Moreover, the interesting findings on the conflict over tithes and the 
vicar's family benefits from his income, mentioned only in passing by the author, 
should be discussed in more detail. Despite these limitations, this study sheds a 
new light on ecclesiastical institutions in the Sandomierz archdeaconry and, as 
the author suggests, it opens the way to further research on other institutions in 
different parts of Poland. 

Anna Patejczuk 
Department of History 
University of Toronto 

Ospedali e citta. L' Italia del Centro-Nord, XIII-XVI secolo, ed. Allen J. Grieco and 
Lucia Sandri. Firenze: Le Lettere, 1997. 283 pp. 25 illustrations in colour and b/w. 
ISBN 88-7 166-325-X 

This collection of nine articles originates from the April 1995 conference organ- 
ized by the Istituto degli Innocenti and the Harvard University Center for Italian 
Renaissance Studies-Villa I Tatti on the 550th anniversary of the Innocenti 's first 
admission of an abandoned child from the streets of Florence (1445-1995). It 
examines the various aspects of the growth, management, and specialization of 
hospitals from the 13th to the 16th centuries in northern and central Italy, with an 
emphasis on the major urban centres of Florence, Venice, Milan, Bologna, and 
Rome. Each article provides a considerable amount of additional information on 
topics such as the architectural development of hospitals, the various (and some- 
times surprising) societal motivations for establishing and maintaining such 
shelters, and governmental practices and policies toward charitable institutions. 
John Henderson's contribution deals with 14th-century Florentine hospitals, 
in particular with the oldest ones of Santa Maria Nuova and San Paolo. He first 
examines a number of comments and descriptions of the medical capabilities of 
the staff in several Italian hospitals made by local and foreign travellers in the 
15th and 16th centuries (in particular, Leon Battista Alberti and Martin Luther). 
Henderson then looks back to the early 14th century, when the medical profession 
began to affirm a new 'corporate' identity of itself, to show how these much 



30 Confraternitas 11:1 

lauded conditions had actually been in place for as long as two hundred years 
before the visitors' comments. 

Giuliana Albini examines four significant moments in the evolution of 
Milanese hospitals: the internal administrative corruption of the late 14th century; 
the pursuit, in the early 15th century, of various tentative solutions to these 
problems; the reform in the mid 15th century that brought about an administrative 
unification of nearly all urban and suburban hospitals; and the development, in 
the late 15th century, of a restructured hospital system. 

Casimira Grande's article focuses on the founding and history of Venice's 
Santa Maria della Pieta, its means of survival through difficult times, and its 
internal organization. She then provides details of the historical changes in that 
hospital's administration and leadership, the expansion of its property and ser- 
vices, and its periods of hardship, particularly those associated with the periodic 
15th-century plagues that produced high rates of sick adults and abandoned, or 
orphaned, children. 

While the collection provides an excellent overview of hospitals in northern 
Italy in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, it also offers readers a vast 
amount of detailed and, sometimes, unexpected information that dramatically 
alters traditional views on the situation. For example, we discover that among 
poor families with more than three or four children, a relatively high percentage 
of newborns were placed into orphanages and hospitals in order to allow the 
parents to continue working and the children to survive (Henderson); in Venice 
the major contributing factor to the problem of abandoned children was not the 
high number of prostitutes working in the city, as was often claimed, but 
employers' illicit sexual relations with servants and slaves whose household 
'chores' went far beyond cooking and cleaning (Grande). 

With articles on the hospitals of Tuscany (John Henderson), Florence (Lucia 
Sandri), the Veneto (Gian Maria Varanini), Venice (Casimira Grandi), Milan 
(Giuliana Albini and Marina Gazzini), Bologna (Nicholas Terpstra), Rome (Anna 
Esposito) and with a final analysis drawn by Charles Marie de la Ronciere, this 
volume is a rich source of detailed information and in-depth investigation into the 
medical and social role of hospices and hospitals in pre-modern Italy. 

Fabio Calabrese 
Department of Italian Studies 
University of Toronto 



Publications Received 



The following publications have been received by the SCS and have been 
deposited into the Confraternities Collection at the Centre for Reformation and 
Renaissance Studies (Toronto): 

Chiesa e religiosita popolare a Peschici, ed. Teresa Maria Rauzino, "Presentazione" by 
Liana Bertoldi Lenoci. Peschici: Centre* Studi Giuseppe Martella, 1999. 287 pp., 
illustrations. Contents: Libera Iervolino "Origini ed aspetti locali del culto del Santo Patrono 
Elia" pp. 23-60; Grazia Silvestri "Aspetti metodologici della visita pastorale del cardinale 
Vincenzo Maria Orsini nella Diocesi Sipontina con particolare riguardo alia Chiesa matrice 
di sant'Elia (1675-1678)" pp. 61-95; Liana Bertoldi Lenoci "Le confraternite a Peschici in 
eta moderna e contemporanea" pp. 97-147; Teresa Maria Rauzino "Problemi 
sociodemografici, strutture familiari ed assistenziali a Peschici nel Seicento e nel Settecento" 
pp. 149-195; Michel' Antonio Piemontese "Architettura sacra e religiosita popolare a 
Peschici" pp. 197-208; Teresa Maria Rauzino "L'abbazia di S. Maria di Calena: stato attuale 
della ricerca storiografica" pp. 209-232; Tiziana Luisi "La pittura sacra stile Bahaus di 
Alfredo Bortoluzzi a Peschici (1979-1986)" pp. 233-282; Filippo Fiorentino "Devozione e 
memoria abitata nella trama vivente della storia" pp. 283-286. 

Earenfight, Phillip Joseph. The Residence and Loggia della Misericordia (il Bigallo): Art 
and Architecture of Confraternal Piety, Charity, and Virtue in Late Medieval Florence. 
Ph.D. thesis, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, October 1999. Supervisor: Sarah 
Blake McHam. 

Gli Innocenti e Firenze nei secoli. Un ospedale, un archivio, una citta, ed. Lucia Sandri. 
Firenze: SPES Studio per Edizioni Scelte, 1996. 199 pp., ill. ISBN 88-7242-2752. Contains: 
Richard A. Goldthwaite "La fondazione e il consenso della citta" pp. 7-11, Richard A. 
Goldthwaite "La prima campagna edile e il mondo del lavoro, 1419-1432" pp. 15-20, 
Giuseppina C. Romby "Le vicende architettoniche nei secoli" pp. 21-32, Giuseppina C 
Romby "L'immagine dell'Ospedale fra storia, arte e impegno civile" pp. 33-55, Lucia 
Sandri "L'assistenza nei primi due secoli di attivita" pp. 59-83, Allen J. Grieco "II vitto di 
un ospedale: pratica, distinzioni sociali e teorie mediche alia meta del Quattrocento" pp. 
85-92, Simona Gelli and Giuliano Pinto "La presenza dell'Ospedale nel contado (sec. XV)" 
pp. 95-108, Laura Cavazzini and Luciano Bellosi "Dipinti e sculture nelle chiese 
dell'Ospedale" pp. 1 13-150, Bruno Dini "La ricchezza documentaria per l'Arte dellla Seta 
e l'economia fiorentina nel Quattrocento" pp. 153-178, and Richard A. Goldthwaite "L'arte 
e l'artista nei documenti contabili dei privati (sec. XV)" pp. 179-188. 

Kowalski, Waldemar. Uposazenie parafii archidiakonatu Sandomierskiego w XV-XVIII 
wieku. Kielce: Wyzsza Szkola Pedegogiczna im. Jana Kochanowskiego, 1998. 400 pp., 3 
maps ISBN 83-7133-102-9 

Ospedali e citta. L 'Italia del Centro-Nord, XIII-XVI secolo, ed. Allen J. Grieco and Lucia 
Sandri. Firenze: Le Lettere, 1997. 283 pp. 25 illustrations in colour and b/w. ISBN 
88-7166-325-X. Contains: John Henderson "'Splendide case di cura.' Spedali, Medicina ed 
assistenza a Firenze nel Trecento" pp. 15-50; Lucia Sandri "La specializzazione ospedaliera 
fiorentina: gli Innocenti e l'assistenza all'infanzia (XV-XVI secolo)" pp. 51-65; Casimira 
Grandi "L'assistenza all'infanzia abbandonata a Venezia: i 'fantolini' della pietade (1346- 
1548)" pp. 67-106; Gian Maria Varanini "Per la storia delle istituzioni ospedaliere nelle 

31 



32 Confraternitas 11:1 

citta della Terraferma veneta nel Quattrocento" pp. 107-155; Giuliana Albini "La gestione 
dell'Ospedale Maggiore di Milano nel Quattrocento: un esempio di concentrazione 
ospedaliera" pp. 157-178; Marina Gazzini "L'esempio di una 'quasi-citta': gli ospedali di 
Monza e i loro rapporti con Milano (secoli XIII-XV)" pp. 179-208; Nicholas Terpstra 
"Ospedali e bambini abbandonati a Bologna nel Rinascimento" pp. 209-232; AnnaEsposito 
"Gli ospedali romani tra iniziative laicali e politica pontificia (secoli XIII-XV)" pp. 
233-253; Charles Marie de la Ronciere "Ospedali e citta: bilancio di un congresso" pp. 
255-272; index of names, pp. 273-282. 

Scuola dalmata del SS. Giorgio e Trifone (Venezia), issue 36 (1999/1). 



Confratern itas 

Volume 11, No. 2, Fall 2000 

Contents 



Articles 

Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France: 

The Maison de Charite of Loudun, 1648-1685 

Appendix: Supplication to the King by the Catholic Inhabitants of 

Loudun to obtain lettres patentes for the Maison de Charite. A.H. 

Loudun, A 1 4eme liasse (le 4 mai 1670) 

Edwin Bezzina 



News 27 

Reviews 

Confraternities and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Italy. Ritual, 

Spectacle, Image. Eds. Barbara Wisch and Diane Cole Ahl (Monica 

Dominguez Torres) 29 

La chiesa di San Giorgio a Montemerano. Arte, storia efede. Eds. 
Cristina Gnoni Mavarelli, Ludovica Sebregondi, Ulisse Tramonti (Fabio 
Calabrese) 30 

Patkova, Hana. Bratrstvie ke cti bozie. Pozndmky ke kultovni tinnosti 

bratrstev e cechxx ve sftedov&kych Cechdch (Beata Wojciechowska) 31 

Publications Received 35 



Charity and Confessional Difference in 

Seventeenth-Century France: 

The Maison de Charite of Loudun, 1648-1685 



EDWIN BEZZINA 



Continuing his promenade through the streets of Loudun, Vincent Patrix, the 
Catholic bailli of the city, accompanied by a group of Catholic magistrates, 
masons, a priest and a doctor, was not having very good luck finding a suitable 
location for a new Maison de Charite. Then, they stopped before the Protestant 
temple; exchanging a few words, they came to the conclusion that the large square 
in front of the temple would be an excellent location for the Maison de Charite. 
The Protestant community, however, did not share their enthusiasm. In fact, they 
protested shortly afterwards that this was but a poorly veiled attempt by the 
Catholic party to destroy their temple by placing a Catholic hospital with its 
Catholic chapel in front of it. 1 

That promenade took place on 13 April 1677, just over eight years before the 
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Not suprisingly, the dispute it raised strongly 
reflects the confessional tension of the period. We will have further opportunity 
to examine the extended conflict that ensued, but as a preliminary observation the 
event provides a fascinating glimpse into how a local charitable institution 
developed into a source of conflict between Protestant and Catholic at the local 
level. In fact, similarities can be traced between this Maison de Charite and 
confraternities in seventeenth-century France, in that the Maison was directed by 
a co-operative effort between lay and ecclesiastical elites. More importantly, 
however, the hospital harboured a clear and undeniable link with the Catholic 
Reformation and Counter- Re formation. 2 Although potential for a bi-confessional 



The previous building, purchased in 1648, was no longer adequate, thus necessitating the 
construction of a new Maison de Charite. For a transcription of this promenade and the 
Protestant response, see the minutes for 12 avril 1677-21 juin 1677, Archives hospitalieres 
de Loudun, (henceforth A.H. Loudun), Al 4eme liasse, 27eme piece. The deliberations 
are also discussed and in a few instances cited in Roger Drouault's Recherches sur les 
Etablissements hospitaliers du Loudunais, pp. 75-80. As persecution of the Protestant 
minority increased, the location of a Protestant temple next to a Catholic ecclesiastical 
edifice became untenable (for reasons discussed below). 

It is often difficult to separate the work of confraternities and organizations like them from 
the study of Catholic charitable institutions because in many cases they were closely 
intertwined and they pursued the same goals (this is particularly true in the relationship 
between the Company of the Holy Sacrament and the Hopital-General in Paris). In 
Loudun, a precise link between its Maison de Charite and any confraternity in this city 
has yet to be uncovered. For French confraternities and similar institutions in the 
seventeenth century, see Marguerite Pecquet, "Des Compagnies de Penitents a la 
Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement," esp. pp. 30-36; Robert Sauzet, "Les confreries du 



4 Confraternitas 11:2 

project may have existed during the gestation of the Maison, the hospital quickly 
evolved into a firmly Catholic institution with essentially no Protestant involve- 
ment, and this explains why it could later be used as a vehicle by elements of the 
Catholic party to undermine the Protestant presence in the city. 

An acute agrarian crisis in the late 1640s had provided the necessary impetus 
for the founding of the Maison de Charite, as the flood of desperate vagabonds 
from the countryside into Loudun highlighted the total inadequacy of local 
charitable institutions to meet the needs of the wandering poor. 3 The driving force 
behind the project was Jehan Mignon, the influential doyen and canon of the 



diocese de Nimes a la fin du XVTIe et au debut du XVIIIe siecle," esp. pp. 197-198; 
Andrew E. Barnes, "The Transformation of Penitent Confraternities over the Ancien 
Regime," esp. pp. 127-130, 132-135; The Social Dimension of Piety: Associative Life 
and Religious Change in the Penitent Confraternities of Marseille 1499-1792, esp. pp. 
19-25,216-224. 

On the relationship between French Hospitals and the Catholic Reformation, see 
Emanuel Chill, "Religion and Mendicity in Seventeenth-Century France," pp. 400-425; 
Daniel Hickey, Local Hospitals in Ancien Regime France: Rationalization, Resistance, 
Renewal 1530-1789, esp. pp. 7, 54-61, chapters 4 and 5; Marc Venard, "Les Oeuvres de 
Charite en Avignon a l'aube du XVTIe siecle," esp. pp. 135-139; R.P. Chalumeau, 
"L' Assistance aux Malades Pauvres au XVIIe siecle," esp. pp. 76-84; Colin Jones, The 
Charitable Imperative: Hospitals and Nursing in Ancien Regime and Revolutionary 
France, esp. pp. 34^0; Alain Tallon, La Compagnie du Saint Sacrement (1629-1667): 
Spiritualite et societe, esp. pp. 55-58, 98-103; "Priere et Charite dans la Compagnie du 
Saint-Sacrement (1629-1667)," esp. pp. 331-337; Peter J. Edwards, "An Aspect of the 
French Counter-Reform Movement: la Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement," pp. 479^-92; 
Martin Dinges, "Attitudes a l'egard de la pauvrete aux XVIe et XVIIe siecles a Bordeaux," 
pp. 359-374; Georges Viard, "Bureaux des pauvres et confreries de charite en Champagne 
meriodionale (XVIe-XVIIIe siecles)," pp. 317-330; see also the recent study by Jacques 
Depauw, Spiritualite et Pauvrete a Paris au XVIIe siecle. 

Dupaquier has noted that the demographic and rural crisis of the Fronde (1649-1652) 
grew out of the depressed decade of the 1640s, marked by the debilitating effects of 
increased fiscal pressures, political unrest and epidemics. Histoire de la population 
francaise, tome 2, De la Renaissance a 1789, p. 203. In the diocese of Poitiers in which 
Loudun was situated, the bishop, having been informed that the existing charitable 
institutions were poorly maintained and their revenues diverted to questionable purposes, 
ordered a commission to suggest methods to improve poor relief in this diocese. Drouault, 
Recherches sur les Etablissements hospitallers du Loudunais, pp. 56-57. Reference to 
this agricultural crisis as the motive behind the Maison' s establishment is made in the 
supplication to the king by the Catholic inhabitants of Loudun to obtain lettres patentes 
for the Maison de Charite (see Appendix). The existing Maison-Dieu had suffered terribly 
during the Wars of Religion and by 1648 was clearly incapable of alleviating the suffering 
of the poor; Louis Charbonneau-Lassay, Heraldique loudunaise, pp. 184, 188. One other 
charitable institution, the commanderie of St. Jean de Jerusalem, was also ill-equipped to 
deal with the fallout from the rural crisis. This commanderie was connected to the Order 
of the Knights of Malta, ibid., p. 158. See the visit conducted on the premises, 21 
December 1648, minutes de Thomas Aubery 1'aine, notaire royal a Loudun, Archives 
departementeles de la Vienne (henceforth A.D. Vienne), E 4/53: 69. Its alms to the poor 
were eventually transferred to the Maison de Charite. 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 5 

collegial church of Sainte-Croix, who was regarded by many as one of the 
individuals most instrumental in securing a death sentence for Urbain Grandier, 
a priest burned at the stake in 1634 on the false charge of witchcraft. On a more 
positive note, Mignon donated the 1,600 livres necessary for the initial Maison 
and left substantial legacies for its upkeep. 4 

According to the third article of the Maison's founding statutes (the 
Reglement), the hospital was to provide assistance for those who could not obtain 
any kind of aid from parents or relatives in this city. 5 Therefore, the principal 
raison d'etre of the Maison was to deal with the problem of mendicity and 
vagabondage. Certainly, no evidence exists in the available documentation to 
suggest that through this program the poor were to be forcefully rounded up by 
local police and "enfermes" in the Maison, where they could no longer trouble 
the gens de bien. 6 

In an article on the relationship between French Catholicism and mendicity 
in the seventeenth century, Emanuel Chill claims that the provincial maisons de 
charite sprang from the efforts of the Company of the Holy Sacrament. 7 This was 
a well-organized group of intensely committed Catholics devoted to a confession- 
ally unified France, the purification of all Catholic believers, and the eradication 
of poverty. But did the Maison de Charite of Loudun emerge under the tutelage 
of such an organization? Since the mid-sixteenth century, there did exist in this 
city a confraternity of the Holy Sacrament attached to the parish church, St. Pierre 
du Marche, 8 but it had nothing in common with the Company that was founded 
in 1629. Nor does any reference to this larger body manifest itself in the Maison's 



4 Acquisition of a building for the Maison de Charite newly established in Loudun, le 6 
avril 1648, A.H. Loudun, carton Al, 1 2eme Masse; testament olographe of Jehan Mignon, 
doyen of the collegial church of Sainte-Croix, counter-signed by Rene Gouin and Pierre 
Coustin, notaires royaux of Loudun, le 27 juin 1651, with several codicils A.H. Loudun, 
carton Al 2eme liasse; "Donation faite par Jehan Mignon au profit de la Maison de 
Charite, le 9 avril 1672," A.H. Loudun, carton Al 2eme liasse; "Inventaire apres deces et 
partage de Jehan Mignon, doyen et chanoine de l'eglise Sainte-Croix de Loudun, le 1 
octobre 1674," minutes de Rene Douteau, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 
317. 

5 The document is transcribed in full in Drouault, Recherches sur les Etablissements 
hospitaliers du Loudunais, pp. 59-61. 

6 Such a callous attitude to the problem of poverty has been accentuated in the article by 
Emanuel Chill, particularly his analysis of the Hopital-General of Paris, an institution 
that was established through the efforts of the Company of the Holy Sacrament, "Religion 
and Mendicity in Seventeenth-Century France," esp. pp. 406-410. See also, Michel 
Foucault, Histoire de lafolie a I'dge classique, esp. pp. 56-91; Hickey's comments on 
Foucault, Local Hospitals in Ancien Regime France, p. 4; Jean-Pierre Gutton, 
"Enfermement et Charite dans la France de l'Ancien Regime," pp. 353-358; Jacques 
Depauw, Spiritualite etpauvrete au XVIIe siecle, pp. 5, 229-252. 

7 Chill, "Religion and Mendicity in Seventeenth-Century France," p. 405. 

8 In a bull granted by Pope Paul V, the confraternity was given the rare privilege of holding 
an annual procession of the Holy Sacrament in Loudun the last Sunday of August. Louis 
Charbonneau-Lassay, Heraldique loudunaise, p. 1 22. 



6 Cohfraternitas 11:2 

documents or in Mignon's testament and post-mortem inventory. Admittedly, in 
1660, the Crown disbanded the Company of the Holy Sacrament and forced it 
underground, and this may have encouraged Mignon to hide any links between 
the Company and himself that could be documented and used against him. 9 As 
we shall see, the Company and the Maison's administrators shared many ideas 
and attitudes. However, no tangible link between the two can be traced. 

However, we can be certain that throughout our period of study, the Maison 
was governed by a cooperative effort between lay and ecclesiastical elites right 
from its birth. Mignon himself, who was the spiritual director of the Maison at 
least up to 1672, was related to some of the most important Catholic families in 
this city. 10 One of the spiritual administrators who succeeded him, Paul Curieux, 
was cure of St. Pierre du Marche, the most important parish in Loudun, carrying 
with it one of the richest ecclesiastical benefices in the town. Likewise, the 
temporal administrators all occupied influential and even critical posts in the 
city's bureaucracy and court system. Of course, one might expect the administra- 
tion of the Maison to be confided to men of power and influence; 11 but, by way 
of comparison, the procureurs de lafabrique of the two parishes of Loudun often 
enlisted artisans into their ranks. 12 One should also remember the critical role of 
another layperson, Marie Ravenel, widow of Michel Le Loup, sieur de la Haye: 
she was not only one of the most generous benefactors of the hospital, but she 



9 Testament olographe of Jehan Mignon, doyen of the collegial church of Sainte-Croix, 
counter- signed by Rene Gouin and Pierre Coustin, notaires royaux of Loudun, le 27 juin 
1651, with several codicils, A.H. Loudun, carton Al 2eme liasse; "Inventaire apres deces 
et partage de Jehan Mignon, doyen et chanoine de l'eglise Sainte-Croix de Loudun, le 1 
octobre 1674," minutes de Rene Douteau, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 
317. Tallon, La Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, p. 3 1 ; Marcelle Formon, "La Compagnie 
du Saint-Sacrement a Poitiers," pp. 526-543. 

10 Testament olographe of Jehan Mignon, doyen of the collegial church of Sainte-Croix, 
counter-signed by Rene Gouin and Pierre Coustin, notaires royaux of Loudun, le 27 juin 
1651, with several codicils, A.H. Loudun, carton Al 2eme liasse; "Donation faite par 
Jehan Mignon au profit de la Maison de Charite," le 9 avril 1672, A.H. Loudun, carton 
Al 2eme liasse; "Inventaire apres deces et partage de Jehan Mignon, doyen et chanoine 
de l'eglise Sainte-Croix de Loudun, le 1 octobre 1674," minutes de Rene Douteau, notaire 
royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 317. 

1 1 These include councillors and advocates in the local bailliage (or royal court), some of 
the bailli's assistant lieutenants, a procureur du roi (or Crown prosecutor) in the 
Marechaussee (an institution that dealt with public order), and a President of the Election 
(a court with jurisdiction over direct and indirect taxes due to the Crown). 

1 2 Procureurs de lafabrique or marguilliers took care of the material affairs of the parish, 
assisting the cure in the temporal administration of his parish. Charbonneau-Lassay, 
Heraldique loudunaise, p. 120. It is true, the majority of marguilliers were magistrates or 
at least merchants (particularly in the parish St. Pierre du Marche), but one finds from 
time to time artisans elected to such a post. See the actes in the minutes of Rene Douteau, 
le 1 juillet 1664, le 25 novembre 1678, le 18 et 19 aoOt 1679 et le 12 fevrier 1679, A.D. 
Vienne, E 4/53: 307, 321,322. 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 1 

also deployed her formidable energies to attract other important benefactors to 
the Maison and was directly involved in its administration. 13 

However, the impetus that gave rise to the Maison de Charite may not have 
emanated solely from the Catholic community. In a supplication addressed in 
1670 to the king requesting lettres patentes to consolidate the establishment of 
the Maison (see Appendix), 14 reference is made to the general assembly of the 
habitants of Loudun of 1648 that had set in motion the founding of the Maison 
de Charite. The assembly included both Protestants and Catholics, two influential 
communities who together formulated the solution of establishing a local hospital. 
Yet, this supplication is a difficult document to evaluate. First of all, it was written 
well after the actual assembly; and in the deliberations of a separate meeting that 
took place around the same time to codify the logistics of the new Maison, only 
the signatures of Catholic magistrates are evident. 15 Still, the document may not 
be entirely unbelievable in its claim that Protestants participated in the early phase 
of the Maison. By the 1670s, the Maison had become an undeniably Catholic 
institution (for reasons discussed below); one cannot imagine why its administra- 
tors at that point would refer to a Protestant connection unless it were true. Why 
give credit to Protestants if the king had come to resent their presence? Further- 
more, the initial statutes, admittedly written by three Catholic magistrates, do not 
exclude Protestants from the administration of the hospital. The only clear 
stipulation in this regard is that the bishop alone would choose the spiritual 
administrator and thus, presumably, a Catholic would always occupy this post. 16 

At least in the early stages, there may have been definite potential here for a 
bi-confessional project, much like the one established for the election of munic- 
ipal officers in the town council or the collective reaction to the plague of 1632. 
It is a strategy not uncommon in confessionally mixed communities that, in order 
to prevent the re-ignition of religious conflict or to assure their mutual survival, 
cast agreements to ensure equal participation in various tasks of municipal 
administration. 17 



13 On 20 May 1684, Marie Ravenal presented to the Maison an account of all the bequests 
to the hospital that she had played some role in acquiring, A.H. Loudun, carton El registre. 
Further evidence of her largesse is provided in the contract of acquisition of 20 January 
1679, A.H. Loudun, E 16, copies de di verses pieces. See also Drouault, Recherches sur 
les Etablissements hospitaliers du Loudunais, pp. 71-72. 

14 According to the edict of December 1666, the founding of any charitable institution would 
first require letters of authorization (lettres patentes) from the king; those already in 
existence were required to solicit the Crown for such letters. Drouault, Recherches sur 
les Etablissements hospitaliers du Loudunais, p. 67. 

1 5 Drouault provides the signatures for this proces- verbal, Recherches sur les Etablissements 
hospitaliers du Loudunais, p. 59 footnote 1. Cross-referencing with other documents has 
identified all the signatories as Catholic. 

16 Drouault, Recherches sur les Etablissements hospitaliers du Loudunais, p. 59. 

17 Statutes for the election of elus, echevins and syndics, in each number for each religion, 
mars 1624, Archives municipales de Loudun (henceforth A.M. Loudun), AA3, 2eme 
piece; documents concerning the plague in Loudun of 1632, A.M. Loudun, BB30. For 



8 Confraternitas 11:2 

Yet, the Maison de Charite of Loudun evolved along a different path. In his 
response to the request to authorize the Maison (dated 28 December 1648), Henri 
Louis Chasteigner de la Rocheposay, bishop of Poitiers, granted his permission, 
but only on condition that (1) a Protestant could not hold the office of temporal 
administrator; (2) the Protestant community could not play any role in the election 
of the spiritual administrator; and (3) the examination of the Maison' s accounts 
would take place in the presence of a Catholic ecclesiastic, either the bishop, the 
two cures of the city or the doyen of the collegial church of Sainte-Croix. 18 Of 
course, Protestants could still be admitted as patients, but here the motive was not 
only to provide humanitarian aid with no questions asked, but also to encourage 
Huguenots to convert to Catholicism through the exemplary manifestation of 
Catholic charity. 19 

Thus, under the aegis of an active Counter-Reformation bishop, the Maison 
developed more as a uniquely Catholic institution. 20 

It did this by forging ties with some of the major Catholic institutions in 
Loudun. The closest link was struck with the collegial church of Sainte-Croix, 
where Mignon exercised his role as doyen. Moreover, both the first house 
purchased for the Maison as well as the second location chosen in 1677 were 
located in the fief of this collegial church. We know this because the Protestant 
families who had inherited these houses had been compelled beforehand to pay 
rentes to the Sainte-Croix. 21 The administrators also linked the hospital to the 



examples elsewhere in France during the early modem period see Olivier Christin, La 
Paix de Religion: L'autonomisation de la raison politique au XVle siecle, pp. 83-87, 
122-134; Michel Cassan, Le Temps des Guerres de religion: he cas du Limousin (vers 
1530-vers 1630), pp. 343-344; Michelle Gabrielle Formon, "Un Eveque de la 
Contre-Reforme: La Rocheposay et le Diocese de Poitiers 1612-1651," p. 240. The 
Protestants and Catholics of Annonay outdid them all, making arrangements to hold their 
services in the same church! Christin, ibid., pp. 83-84. 

18 Drouault, Recherches sur les Etablissements hospitallers du Loudunais, p. 62. These 
conditions were reiterated in the confirmation by La Rocheposay' successor of the lettres 
patentes of the king, 15 September 1671, A.H. Loudun, Al 4eme liasse, 23eme piece. 

19 That this was at least an ideal to be followed is found in the supplication by the Catholics 
of Loudun to the king to grant them the necessary lettres patentes (see Appendix). 

20 La Rocheposay' s emendations to the Maison' s statutes may also have been motivated by 
a desire to balance the expanding role of secular governments in charitable institutions 
with the active participation of the Catholic Church. Right through the tenure of his 
episcopate, the bishop struggled to maintain the church's pre-eminence in this sphere of 
activity, Formon, "Un Eveque de la Contre-Reforme: La Rocheposay et le Diocese de 
Poitiers 1612-1651," pp. 85-99; on the bishop's struggle against Protestantism, pp. 
231-297bis. The changes made to the initial Reglementare reiterated in the confirmation 
made by La Rocheposay 's successor of the lettres patentes granted by the king, the 
confirmation is dated the 1 5 September 1 67 1 , A.H. Loudun, carton A 1 , 1 2eme liasse. See 
also Drouault' s discussion of the first confirmation, Recherches sur les Etablissements 
hospitallers du Loudunais, p. 62. 

21 Acquisition of a building for the Maison de Charit6 newly established in Loudun, le 6 
avril 1648, A.H. Loudun, carton Al, 12eme liasse; cession made by the demoiselles 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 9 

main Catholic parish, St. Pierre du Marche, as the two managed after some 
difficulty to agree that the dead of the Maison would be buried in the cemetery 
of that parish. Moreover, one of Mignon's successors, Curieux, was parish priest 
of the Marche. 22 Furthermore, according to the Maison' s register of receipts, the 
commanderie of St. Jean de Jerusalem and the the Jesuit priory of Notre-Dame- 
du-Chateau were obliged to pay to the Maison large rentes of 200 livres and 50 
livres respectively. 23 This can be easily explained: the first and second articles of 
the Reglement transferred to the Maison all the funds initially donated for 
charitable purposes to the other Catholic ecclesiastical institutions, and thus the 
rentes were subrogated to this new hospital. 24 Later, a substantial contract of rente 
for the impressive sum of 2,000 livres would be passed with the convent of the 
Visitandines, to pay for the upkeep of the Filles de la Charite de St. Vincent who 
were to work in the Maison de Charite in the early 1680s. 25 

More importantly, the Maison enlisted almost all its personnel from the 
Catholic community. In addition to the temporal administrators mentioned above, 
the Maison commissioned certain individuals to perform some specific task, like 
assessing the soundness of the building in order to obtain the lettres patentes or 
acting as their representative in litigation before the courts. Cross-referencing 
with other documents such as the Catholic baptismal registers of Loudun has 
proven conclusively that they were all Catholic. 26 



Marthe et Jeanne Champion to Michel Tan, master apothecary of Saumur, le 14 avril 
1668, A.H. Loudun, Al 4eme liasse, 17eme piece. A complicated set of partages 
(distributions of family patrimony among heirs) sheds light on these particular rentes. 
A.H. Loudun, carton B2 6eme liasse. 

22 Drouault correctly remarks that a standard procedure was set by 168 1 whereby the cures 
of the two parishes of Loudun, St. Pierre du Marche and St. Pierre du Martray, alternated 
as spiritual administrator of the Maison, Recherches sur les Etablissements hospitaliers 
du Loudunais, p. 107, footnote 1. For the link with the parish St. Pierre du Marche, see 
the "inventaire des titres de la Maison de Charite," A.H. Loudun, carton D, 2eme liasse, 
and also Drouault, Recherches sur les Etablissements hospitaliers du Loudunais, p. 62. 

23 "Registre de receptes 1 662-1 67 1 ," A.H. Loudun, E 2 1 . 

24 "Reglement de la Maison de Charite," transcribed in Drouault, Recherches sur les 
Etablissements hospitaliers du Loudunais, p. 59. 

25 For the contract with the Visitation, see the "Inventaire des titres de la Maison de Charite," 
A.H. Loudun, carton D, 2eme liasse, the "Chapitre des dettes actives rendus par Marie 
Ravenel," A.H. Loudun, carton El, "Registre de receptes 1662-1671," but also the two 
contracts passed by Rene Douteau, le 30 decembre 1 68 1 et le 2 fevrier 1 682, minutes de 
Rene Douteau, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 324 et 325. 

26 There are two possible exceptions to this. First, Pierre Gaultier, master apothecary, may 
well have been Protestant, according to the choice of baptism of his children. Fiches de 
Denis Vatinel (henceforth FDV) 3G5 Pierre Gaultier; FDV3G13 Pierre Gaultier. Second, 
the Protestant doctor Fanton referred to by Drouault could very well have been Mathieu 
Fanton, docteur en medecine, for he had an undoubtedly Protestant testament and was 
buried in the Protestant cemetery. FDV1F6 Mathieu Fanton; "Testament de Mathieu 
Fanton docteur en medecine, 21 aout 1661," minutes de Thomas Aubery Tatne, notaire 
royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 82; "Testament de Jeanne Guerin, veuve de maitre 



10 Confraternitas 11:2 

Particularly worthy of note, the Maison's administrators insisted on hiring 
Catholic notaries to formulate contracts for them. Here, we are offered a window 
into the administrators' own confessional sentiments, for Protestant notaries 
doing work for Catholic clients or even Catholic religious institutions were not 
at all rare occurrences during this period. Catholic notaries likewise worked with 
Protestant clients. Clearly, commercial relations often encouraged people to cross 
confessional lines. Even the Protestant notary Thomas Aubery 1'aTne, who loved 
to mock the Catholic Church in his minutes by referring to it as the "eglise 
romaine" or "eglise catholique romaine", expressed no reservations about doing 
business for them. Out of 158 marriage contracts composed by Aubery between 
1648 and 1669, 118 of the marriages were to take place in a Catholic Church (and 
thus at least one if not both of the futurs conjoints were Catholic), 33 in the 
Protestant church (and thus at least one if not both were Protestant). The remain- 
ing 17 contracts are vague in this respect. Aubery also prepared numerous 
contracts for the commanderie of St. Jean de Jerusalem. Similarly, the 135 
marriage contracts of the Catholic Rene Douteau for the period 1 662-1685 contain 
127 Catholic contracts, 5 Protestant contracts and 3 vague ones. 27 

Without any doubt, however, the Maison de Charite could not completely 
isolate itself from the Protestant community. Various forms of business transac- 
tions unfolded between the Maison and individual Protestants. For example, the 
man who sold Mignon the first house for the Maison de Charite was the merchant 
Isaac Regnier, who could very well have been Protestant, as the baptisms and 
marriage contracts of his children would suggest. 28 One also finds several cases 



Mathieu Fanton, docteuren medecine, 1666," minutes de Thomas Aubery lejeune, notaire 
royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 95. Admittedly, the prospect of tax exemptions may 
have encouraged Gaultier and Fanton to put aside their confessional reservations and thus 
work for the Catholic hospital. Still, it is noteworthy that the administrators were willing 
to accept Protestants as part of their medical staff. 

27 Catholic notaries always referred to their church as "notre mere sainte eglise catholique 
apostolique et romaine", "eglise catholique apostolique et romaine" or at the very least 
"religion C.A.R.". By omitting the word "apostolique", Aubery was implying that the 
Catholic Church was not the pure church, the church of the apostles, thus echoing 
Protestant polemic of the time. Minutes de Thomas Aubery 1'aTne, notaire royal a Loudun, 
A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 57-86; minutes de Rene Douteau, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. 
Vienne E4/53: 304-328. The lower incidence of confessional interaction in Douteau's 
contracts can perhaps be explained by the later period in which they were written. Philip 
Benedict has found for the city of Montpellier that such transactions between notaries and 
clients of different faiths tended to become less common as state persecution of the 
Protestant minority increased. Benedict, "Un roi, une loi, deux fois: parameters for the 
history of Catholic-Reformed co-existence in France, 1555-1685," p. 89. In any case, our 
sample does demonstrate some degree of willingness among both notaries to work with 
clients of a different confession. 

28 Despite this evidence, it is still possible that Regnier renounced the religion of his birth 
sometime between the Protestant baptism of his last child in 1628 and the year that he 
sold the house to the Maison de Charite in 1648, but it is likely that he was still Protestant 
at this time. FDV4R3 Isaac Regnier; minutes de Thomas Aubery 1'aTne, notaire royal a 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 1 1 

in which Protestants paid rentes to the Maison de Charite. For example, the 
Protestant successors of Pierre Champion inherited some property in the metairie 
of Silly in 1662 and found themselves obliged to make their payments to this 
Catholic hospital (something that they seemed reluctant to do, in view of the 
litigation that followed). 29 Consider another example: the administrators' pur- 
chase in 1662 of the metairie of Seneuil carried with it rentes due to the seigneur 
of Preaux. According to the Maison' s register of receipts, the seigneur' sfermier 
(revenue collector) was maitre Barateau, sieur de Panthenay, almost certainly the 
Protestant Louis Barateau when cross-referenced with other documents. 30 In 
general, however, these business links with Protestants were often not a matter 
of deliberate choice on the part of the Maison' s administrators. One should 
remember, for example, that Regnier's house was located in the fief of the 
collegial church of Sainte-Croix and thus the administrator's contract with Re- 
gnier may have been motivated by a desire to consolidate the link between the 
Maison and this church. 

That the Maison de Charite emerged as a charitable institution of the Catholic 
Church is supported by the total lack of Protestant bequests to this hospital. Out 
of 344 available testaments for the period 1648-1685 (of which 40 are Protestant) 
not one sou was given by a Protestant testator to the Maison. 31 It is not difficult 



Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 68, 83. 

29 Their Protestant father, Pierre Champion, had inherited property in the metairie of Silly, 
in 1641, before the establishment of the Maison de Charite. Somehow, the rente that he 
owed because of those lands must have been subrogated to the Maison de Charite, and 
thus according to the temporal administrators, his heirs would be obliged to pay it. These 
same heirs contested the validity of such a rente, compelling the temporal administrators 
to conclude an out-of-court settlement before the notary Thomas Aubery le jeune to force 
them to pay the said rentes. This probably also explains why the administrators requested 
copies of the partages of the three successions, which outline the property involved and 
to whom rentes were due by virtue of the possession of such property. A.H. Loudun, 
carton B2 6eme liasse. "Transaction entre la Maison de Charite et les heritiers de Pierre 
Champion, procureur aux sieges royaux de Loudun, le 6 novembre 1669," minutes de 
Thomas Aubery le jeune, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 100. A metairie is a system of agriculture 
by which the land is worked by one or more metayers, but the land is owned by someone 
else (roughly the equivalent of share-cropping). Michel Lachiver, Dictionnaire du monde 
rural: les mots du passe, p. 1 127. 

30 "Registre de receptes, 1662-1671," A.H. Loudun, E 21; FDV2B5 Louis Barateau; 
"Transaction entre les heritiers de deffunt Jehan Marchand, le 18 septembre, 1664," 
minutes de Thomas Aubery 1'aine, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 86. 
Again, we hesitate to declare that Louis Barateau was definitely Protestant at the time that 
he was collecting money from the Maison (in 1662), because the definite proof of his 
Protestantism lies in the baptism of his last child in the Protestant church in 1658. It is not 
clear how exactly the Maison came to pay dues to a Protestant fermier but there may be 
a link with the yearly alms received from the commanderie and the chapelle du Legat, 
both of which harboured links with the same seigneury of Preaux. 

31 This study of testaments was compiled from all the available notarial minutes for the 
period 1648 to 1685 for Loudun as well as a small group of testaments found in the 



12 Confraternitas 11:2 

to imagine why. Charity in this period of religious difference was not at all a 
confessionally neutral concept. While Erasmus once may have sought a common 
ground between Protestants and Catholics partially through an emphasis on 
leading a moral life and giving to those in need, 32 the act of giving in itself was 
so welded to irreconcilable theological differences that it could not possibly 
represent a field where both confessions could work towards a common goal. Of 
course, both shared a sincere desire to help the poor and perhaps even a fear of 
what would happen if they did not, but for those of the Reformed faith, giving 
had absolutely no impact on the justification of the believer before God. A 
person's fate had already been predetermined and nothing that one does in this 
world could change it. In this framework, the elect made charitable donations 
because the impetus was already there to do so. In Catholic belief* by contrast, 
charity was not only a means by which one could merit justification, but also a 
vehicle to include the entire community in praying for the benefactor after he/she 
passed away. Catholic bequests were often given with elaborate requests for 
masses, candles and requiems, to be performed in the parish church or in one of 
the convents. 33 In this way, the dead were cared for by the living. 

On a less theoretical level, Protestants must have been unwilling to leave 
legacies to the Maison because it was intricately connected with the Catholic 
Church and even functioned to further the program of the Catholic restoration. 
Not only was there a Catholic chapel in the Maison, but this project was also often 



Archives hospitalieres. The confessional allegiance of each testament was determined by 
a study of the testament's preamble (generally, the invocation of the Virgin Mary and the 
saints betrays a Catholic preamble) but also the stipulations for the burial of the testator 
(requests for masses for one's soul could be requested only by a Catholic, at least in 
theory). Studying the preamble alone is not a reliable indicator, given that it was in the 
vast majority of cases a formula written down by the notary. A.D. Vienne, minutes of the 
following notaires royaux of Loudun: minutes de Thomas Aubery l'aine, E 4/53: 69-90; 
Thomas Aubery le jeune, E 4/53: 109-124; Rene Douteau, E 4/53: 306-328; Jean Huger, 
E 4/53: 394, 396-401 ; Mathieu Huger, E 4/53: 395; Rene Confex, E 4/55: 44-58; Pregent 
Bureau, E 4/53: 175-178; Pierre Fouscher, E 4/1: 92. A.H. Loudun, carton C. See also, 
Pierre Chaunu, La mort a Paris: 16e, lie, 18e siecles, pp. 259-260; Christian Chene, 
"Testaments, fortunes et religions: La pratique testamentaire a Ganges de la fin du XVIIe 
siecle au debut du XVIIIe siecle," pp. 208-214. 

32 Joseph Lecler, S.J., Histoire de la tolerance au siecle de la Reforme, pp. 133-149. 

33 According to some historians, the poor were perceived by many Catholics as 
"intercessors" between God and the believer, because the poor offered the charitable 
Catholic the opportunity to work towards his/her own salvation. Martin Dinges, "Attitude 
a l'egard de la pauvrete aux XVIe et XVIIe siecles a Bordeaux," p. 366; Georges Viard, 
"Bureaux des pauvres et confreries de Charite en Champagne meriodionale," p. 319. On 
the involvement by the community in praying for the dead, see Philippe Aries, L' Homme 
devant la mort, 141-200. On other comparisons made between Protestant and Catholic 
testamentary behaviour and attitudes towards poor relief in seventeenth-century France, 
see Kathryn Norberg, Rich and Poor in Grenoble, 1600-1814, pp. 147-148; Wilma J. 
Pugh, Catholics, Protestants and Testamentary Charity in Seventeenth-Century Lyon and 
Nimes, pp. 479-504; Chene, "Testaments, fortunes et religions," pp. 211-212. 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 1 3 

viewed by many as a way to lead the recalcitrant back into the arms of Mother 
Church. Indeed, while seventeenth-century Catholic charitable institutions could 
not legally withhold assistance to Protestants in need, they could not divorce 
spiritual from material aid. In their view, it would be absolutely pointless to give 
a deprived individual food, medecine and shelter if the patient's soul were left 
unattended. 34 Not surprisingly, the request to the king for the necessary lettres 
patentes boasts of the effectiveness of the Maison in converting Protestants 
through the work of the spiritual administrator and simply by the example of 
Catholic charity (see Appendix). Admittedly, perhaps those who wrote this 
request exaggerated the proselytizing value of the hospital to a king who himself 
was embarking on a program to impose religious homogeneity on his kingdom. 
On the other hand, it also appears that at least Mignon's attitudes towards 
the Protestant presence in France were similar in many ways to those of Louis 
XIV. Judging by the list of contracts in his post-mortem inventory, Mignon 
avoided conducting business with the Protestants of Loudun. But also, consider 
the unique and revealing preamble in Mignon's testament, written by his own 
hand, 

I implore this same Holy Trinity to look kindly on me and at the hour of my 
death to watch over me and grant me the remission of my sins and entry into Heaven 
hoping that by the faith that it has given and merited for me through our saviour 
Jesus Christ, that I declare to remain always willingly in the holy Roman, Catholic 
and Apostolic Church, outside of which all hope for salvation is vain ... 35 

It is rare to find a testament exhibiting such a firm statement of Catholic primacy, 
even if religious pluralism represented the sentiments of only a few voices in the 
wilderness during this period. Moreover, in another part of the document, Mignon 
links the material assistance of the poor with their spiritual well-being. 

It is also plausible that a distrust of the people who ran the hospital discour- 
aged Protestant support. Jehan Mignon, along with Pierre Menuau and Louis 
Moussault, had worked actively to achieve the destruction of Urbain Grandier, a 



34 The link between spiritual and material aid lay behind the charitable impulses of many 
confraternities and even the Company of the Holy Sacrament. See Viard, "Bureaux des 
pauvres et confreries de charite en Champagne meriodionale," p. 320; Tallon, "Priere et 
Charite dans la Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement," p. 335; Wilma J. Pugh, "Social Welfare 
and the Edict of Nantes," pp. 357, 368-369. For similar attitudes evident in the Maison 
de Charite of Loudun, see the supplication to the Parlement of Paris concerning the 
testament of Cecille Genebault, presented in 1661 . A.H. Loudun, carton B9, 12eme liasse. 

35 Testament olographe of Jehan Mignon, doyen of the collegial church of Sainte-Croix, 
counter-signed by Ren6 Gouin and Pierre Coustin, notaires royaux of Loudun, le 27 juin 
1651, with several codicils, A.H. Loudun, carton A 1, 2eme liasse. Mignon confirmed his 
testament on 9 April, 1672. Minutes de Rene Douteau, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. 
Vienne, E 4/53: 315. Mignon's testament is particularly valuable because it is a testament 
olographe, meaning that it was he who wrote it and then later had it approved by two 
notaries. Without the initial intervention of any notary, the preamble in this testament 
represents a clear reflection of Mignon's personal religious sentiments. 



14 Confraternitas 11:2 

priest who was actually defended by members of the Protestant community. 
Admittedly, Mignon's role is not absolutely clear in this celebrated affair: while 
many ascribed to him a central role in destroying Grandier, it is unlikely that he 
orchestrated the false demonic possessions of the Ursuline nuns who accused 
Grandier, as the Protestant Nicolas Aubin later claimed. At times, however, the 
canon's conduct in the matter was dubious at best. 36 

Unfortunately, our analysis is hindered by the fact that little documentation 
exhibiting the Protestant perspective on the Maison still exists. Regardless of this, 
it is clear that the charitable impetus of this community went through different 
channels, specifically that of the Consistory (a body of elders, deacons and pastors 
who watched over the Reformed community). Part of the role of the Consistory 
was to distribute charity to those of the Reformed faith. And even though the 
consistorial register for most of the seventeenth century can no longer be found, 
other documents prove that at least some Protestants were using this body as their 
own charitable institution. 37 Six Protestant testaments make special provisions 
for a certain sum of money to be given to the Consistory which in turn would be 
be distributed to the poor. Financing of the Maision de Charite must therefore 
have been an entirely Catholic enterprise. 

Then, should not one expect a large number of Catholic testamentary 
bequests to the Maison de Charite? The evidence is not overwhelming. Examining 
the available testaments in the notarial and hospital archives, it would be mean- 
ingless to attempt comparisons between, for example, gender and testator or 
profession and testator, at least from a statistical point of view. Correlations 



36 The thought of Protestants rushing to the aid of a Catholic priest may seem odd, but in 
fact Grandier nurtured good relations with the Protestant community and even wrote a 
treatise against the celibacy of priests that incorporated some Protestant ideas on the 
subject. Traicte du Celibat des prestres par Urbain Grandier. The Protestant procureur 
Pierre Champion wrote a treatise in defense of the embattled priest. Discours sur I 'histoire 
de la diablerie de Loudun.... Even the Protestant pastor, Daniel Couppe, wrote against the 
trial; in his Traitede miracles, he makes a clear allusion to the unjust proceedings against 
Grandier. M. Carbonnier, "Magie et heresie, ou l'amalgame dans le proces d' Urbain 
Grandier," p. 63. On Mignon's role, see Robert Rapley, A Case of Witchcraft: The Trial 
of Urbain Grandier, pp. 102-108; Nicolas Aubin, Histoire des Diables de Loudun ou De 
La Possession des Religieuses Ursulines et de la condamnation et du supplice d 'Urbain 
Grandier Cure de la meme ville, p. 27. 

37 Archives Nationales TT 256 (232): Registre du consistoire de Loudun (1589-1602) 
(thanks are extended to pasteur Vatinel for lending me his microfilmed copy of this 
important document). As Crown persecution escalated, the Consistory became less able 
to fulfill its more controversial role as a guardian of morals, but its charitable activities 
remained relatively untouched until 1 683, the year in which the Crown enacted legislation 
on the matter. Benoist, Histoire de VEdit de Nantes, tome III partie III, Recueil d'6dits, 
declarations, arrets, requetes, memoires et autres pieces autentiques, pour servir de preuve 
aux faits rapportez dans la troisieme partie de 1' Histoire de l'Edit de Nantes, pp. 149-150, 
1 55-1 56. Pierre Bernard, L' explication de Vedit de Nantes..., pp. 448-450. For Loudun, 
see documents concernant les biens du consistoire des reformes de Loudun, A.H. Loudun, 
Al. 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 15 

cannot be drawn between profession and legacy because there are too many 
different professions represented in the sample and too few in each category. 
Moreover, precise comparisons cannot be made about the relative value of each 
legacy because a rente annuelle of 15 livres cannot be compared to a lump 
donation or to the remainder of a testator's unappreciated personal goods. 38 
However, two observations can be made. First, all the bequests to the Maison 
were made by Catholics, and this underscores the character of the Maison de 
Charite as a uniquely Catholic charitable institution. Second, the available evi- 
dence does not provide a complete picture because there are significant gaps in 
the documentation of the Maison. Undeniably, the study of Loudun's notarial 
minutes demonstrates that many of the testamentary bequests are not to be found 
in the archives of the Maison de Charite. 39 Hence, this does not exclude the 
possibility that somewhere in one of the gaps, there might have been evidence to 
reveal a Protestant bequest to the Maison. But it is unlikely. 

Apparently, out of the 216 Catholic testaments, only 29 contained bequests 
to the Maison. Even with the additional nine testamentary bequests culled from 
other sources, this hardly presents a picture of Catholics rushing to the aid of the 
poor. Still, one should not necessarily conclude that the Catholics of Loudun did 
not participate in their small hospital through acts of charity. In essence, testa- 
ments may not necessarily be the best place to gauge the charitable inclinations 
of the Catholic community towards the Maison. With few exceptions, these are 
documents written for a testator on the brink of death, "au lit malade", often 
displaying an anxiety about what lay beyond, hence the elaborate stipulations for 
masses and candles. Some of the testaments with bequests to the Maison do 
request masses in the chapel and prayers from the poor, 40 but such stipulations 
are few and far between (six in total), even in the testaments that ordered masses 
in the other Catholic churches of Loudun. The most common scenario in these 
particular testamentary bequests is a request for masses in one of the convents or 
parishes and then a less sizeable donation to the Maison de Charite. 



38 A rente and a stock of personal belongings can each be assigned a set value through the 
use of experts, as is found in such documents as post-mortem inventories. However, 
almost without exception, this was not undertaken in the testaments available for Loudun. 

39 Many of the testaments in the "unclear" category betray a Protestant preamble but a 
confessionally vague set of burial instructions. Many of these particular testators were 
probably Protestant (perhaps as state persecution of the Huguenot minority escalated, 
many Protestants became reticent about proclaiming their religious identity in public 
documents). However, one should hesitate before assigning them definitely to the 
Protestant camp, given the issue of notarial filters in testament preambles. 

40 For example, Louis Bontemps, priest, left a legacy of all his personal possessions and 
property on condition that a Requiem mass be celebrated each week in the Maison' s chapel 
for his soul and those of a few close family members. "Testament de Louis Bontemps, le 
12 juin 1662," minutes de Rene Douteau, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 
305. Similarly, demoiselle Jacquine Gervais left a legacy to the Maison of 50 livres in 
return for eight masses. "Testament de Jacquine Gervais, le 9 novembre 1685," minutes 
de Rene Confex, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E4/55: 58. 



16 Confraternitas 11:2 

One explanation presents itself: the Maison's chapel was far less equipped 
to meet the spiritual needs of a deceased soul than the two local parishes or the 
Capuchin, Carmelite and Cordelier religious houses. At least two of the Maison's 
spiritual administrators were already attached to another church (Mignon was the 
doyen of the collegial church of Sainte-Croix, while Curieux was the cure of the 
important parish of St. Pierre du Marche). By contrast, each of the three convents 
were staffed with at least five resident priests 41 and the testator could request to 
be buried in the convent church, thus in close proximity to praying believers. On 
the other hand, the deceased from the Maison had to settle for the less attractive 
option of burial in the cemetery of St. Pierre du Marche. 

This does not necessarily mean that the typical dying Catholic testator cared 
only about his/her own spiritual welfare and balked at the suggestion of leaving 
money for the poor. In a confessionally divided kingdom, it is possible that the 
Catholic testator believed that the more traditional venues for testamentary 
bequests would better serve the interests of the Catholic church and the Catholic 
cause in France. Processions, high masses, requiems all offered great potential 
for public ritual, particularly valuable in a city with such a prominent Protestant 
population. 

Furthermore, besides testamentary bequests, the Catholic community chan- 
neled their charitable energies towards the Maison in a variety of other ways. 
Elizabeth Mesmin made a substantial donation to the Maison in return for lodging 
there. Jehan Moreau, outraged by the disobedience of his daughter, transferred 
her portion of his succession to the Maison. 42 What is important in all of this, 
however, is how starkly the confessional composition of bequests to the Maison 
mirror the Catholicity of this small hospital. 

Thus the stage was set for the conflict of 1677-79. The Maison had come a 
long way since its precarious beginnings. It had developed a sound material base, 
particularly through its metairie of Seneuil and a host of other fermes 43 and rentes, 
secured letters of authorisation from the king and managed to attract some 



4 1 "Accord entre les reverends peres Cordeliers de Loudun et Abraham Gaultier, ecuyer sieur 
de Villeneuve, le 2 septembre 1677," minutes de Rene" Douteau, notaire royal a Loudun, 
A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 320; "Transaction entre les religieux peres Cannes de Loudun et 
les humbles et devotes dames de la Visitation de Sainte-Marie de Loudun, le 6 mai 1679," 
minutes de Rene Douteau, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 322. 
Auguste-Louis Lerosey has discovered that in 1698 the convents of the Capuchins and 
the Carmelites harboured respectively 14 and 1 1 reverand fathers. Loudun: Histoire civile 
et religieuse, pp. 303, 309. 

42 Inventaire des titres, A.H. Loudun, carton D, liasse 2eme; Bequest made by demoiselle 
Elizabeth Mesmin, le 23 juin 1684, A.H. Loudun, E 16, copies de di verses pieces; act of 
disinheritance of Judith Moreau by her father Jehan Moreau, procureur aux sieges royaux 
de Loudun, le 29 octobre 1 650, minutes de Thomas Aubery Tame, notaire royal a Loudun, 
A.D. Vienne, E 4/53: 71. 

43 Aferme represented an agreement by which a proprietor abandonned to a second party, 
for a set period and a set price, the use of a piece of land, a house, et cetera. Marcel 
Lachi ver, Dictionnaire du monde rural: les mots du passe, p. 773. 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 1 7 

important patrons. Members of the Catholic party could then conceivably use the 
Maison to undermine the Protestant presence in the city. This was made all the 
more possible because any hope for bi-confessional participation in the Maison 
had evaporated long before. 

In essence, this dispute of the late 1670s is part of a broader context of 
confessional relations in Loudun and in the entire kingdom. The Revocation of 
the Edict of Nantes has a long history, dating as far back as Louis XIV s 
assumption of direct rule in 1661, and arguably even earlier. Upon seizing the 
reins of government, the king launched an elaborate program to rescind the 
privileges granted to the Huguenots under the Edict of Nantes; many magistrates 
at the local level followed suit and in some cases even provided the initial 
impetus. 44 

In Loudun, as early as 1635 the Protestants were forced by the royal intendant 
Jean Martin de Laubardemont to relinquish ownership of their college to the 
Ursulines. 45 In another instance, Marc-Anthoine Naudin, the lawyer who repre- 
sented the king's interests in the bailliage, contested the validity of the documen- 
tation that had allowed the construction of the temple inside the city walls. The 
Crown, still in a weak position in 1657, did not answer Naudin's claims with a 
favourable response. 46 Also, sometime before the conflict of 1677-1679, the 
syndic of the clergy of the Generality of Tours 47 protested to the royal government 
that the singing of psalms in the temple of Loudun interrupted Catholic religious 
services in the churches of the Capuchins, the Visitandines and the Carmelites, 
each located about two or three blocks away. While such an attempt to undermine 
Protestant religious practice had succeeded elsewhere, even the royal intendant 
in this case could not accept such a dubious argument and thus allowed the temple 
to stand. 48 



44 See Philip Benedict, "Un roi, une loi, deux fois: parameters for the history of 
Catholic-Reformed co-existence in France, 1555-1685," pp. 81-82. Of course, this 
legislation was not always followed at the local level. Elisabeth Labrousse, Essai sur la 
revocation de Veditde Nantes: "Unefoi, une loi, un roi?", p. 139; Benedict, ibid., p. 84; 
see also, Van Deursen, Professions et metiers interdits. Un aspect de Vhistoire de la 
Revocation de VEdit de Nantes, pp. 322 and 348. Still, enough of the Crown efforts bore 
fruit to make life for the Protestant minority increasingly unstable. 

45 In 1652, during the unstable period of the Fronde, when the Crown was in no position to 
persecute its Protestant minority, the Reformed Church of Loudun managed to receive 
the sum of 2000 livres for the sale of the college, by an accord passed on 2 February 1652, 
by Mathieu Alexandre, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, 2H5 (94). I am grateful to 
Mme Sylvette Noyelle for having provided me with her transcriptions of these documents. 

46 M. Dumoustier de La Fond, Essais sur Vhistoire de la ville de loudun, premiere partie, 
pp. 145-146. Drouault also discusses this issue, Recherches sur les Etablissements 
hospitaliers du Loudunais, p. 74. 

47 A generality, or generality, was a large administrative and financial jurisdiction governed 
by an intendant. Michel Lachiver, Dictionnaire du monde rural: les mots du passe, p. 865. 

48 This decision was noted by Gabriel Leclerc, procureurdes habitants reformes de Loudun, 
and Paul Aubry, avocat, when the Protestants formed their opposition to the choice of the 



1 8 Confraternitas 11:2 

But this argument was not an entirely useless strategy. The third general 
article of the Edict of Nantes (1598) stipulates that the Catholic mass was to be 
reintroduced and respected everywhere in the kingdom, particularly in those 
places where it had been interrupted during the religious wars of the sixteenth 
century, and that Catholics and their clergy could not be hindered in the celebra- 
tion of their services. 49 Later, the meaning of this was extended to undermine the 
continued presence of a Reformed temple next to a Catholic ecclesiastical edifice 
in which the mass would be celebrated, on the grounds that the Protestant 
penchant for singing the psalms of the Old Testament would encumber the 
Catholic services next door. Successive arrets were issued by the Parlement of 
Paris to discontinue Reformed worship in such a setting (for example, in Chef- 
Boutonne and in Melle in 1643). Certain assemblies du clerge also became 
involved. 50 Conceivably, the issue was not only one of noise, but also one of 
proximity, for during this time when confessional homogeneity was the ideal, to 
many people two opposing churches standing side-by-side must have looked 
profoundly ridiculous. 

The Protestants thus quickly recognized the bailli's choice of location as a 
second attempt at what the syndic had failed to achieve. Only this time, the 
argument would be much stronger because the Maison and its attendant chapel 
would be right in front of the temple. This choice of location was undoubtedly 
premeditated. In the lettres du cachet from the king, dated 17 January 1677, 
instructions were given to the intendant of the generality of Tours to ensure that 
in order to facilitate the establishment of the new hospital and remove any 
obstacles emanating from the Reformed community, several persons "de piete" 
would be appointed to carry out the task. On 5 April 1677, the intendant selected 
Patrix and Jean-Marie Leaud and then after these appointments, on 13 April, they 
along with a few other Catholics made their provocative promenade. 5 1 Everything 
depended on the sale of the property in the square, for if the Maison' s adminis- 
trators succeeded in acquiring it, members of the Catholic party would be free to 
construct the new Catholic hospital and then make a strong case to the Crown 
against the continued existence of the Reformed temple across the street. 



Maison' s new location, transcribed in Drouault, Recherches sur les Etablissements 
hospitaliers du Loudunais, p. 77; see also Drouault' s discussion on page 74. 

49 Daniele Thomas, (ed.), L'Edit de Nantes, p. 34. 

50 Jean Filleau, Decisions catholiques... decision 28, pp. 241-248. See also the comments 
on this issue by the Protestant historian Elie Benoist, Histoire de VEdit de Nantes, 
contenant les choses les plus remarquables qui se sont passees en France avant et apres 
sa publication, a I 'occasion de la diversite des Religions, tome 3, partie I, pp. 371-372. 

5 1 Proces-verbaux 1 2 avril - 1 677-2 1 juin 1 677, A.H. Loudun, A 1 4eme liasse, 27eme piece; 
Gabriel Leclerc claimed that, based on this document, the Catholic party of Loudun had 
suggested to the Crown that this would be a suitable way to finally remove the temple 
from Loudun, quoted in Drouault, Recherches sur les Etablissements hospitaliers du 
Loudunais, p. 11. 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 19 

This issue escalated into a heated conflict between Protestants and Catholics 
in Loudun. It was not merely a coincidence that those who owned the houses in 
the chosen square were all Protestant. 52 Much more was clearly at stake. For this 
reason, the Protestants involved acted with their confessional community behind 
them. This is obvious in the long statement of opposition drafted by Gabriel 
Leclerc on behalf of the Protestant community and the Consistory. Leclerc argued 
that the choice of the square in front of the temple was not at all coincidental, 
given the obvious availability of more suitable locations elsewhere in the city. 53 
In the administrators' rebuttals as well as in the bitter deliberations between the 
administrators and the Protestant proprietors, reference is often made to the 
opposition of the Protestants of Loudun as a whole, and even to their dislike for 
the Maison de Charite. 54 

It should come as no surprise that the Crown supported the Catholic cause 
in this dispute, for on 7 December 1678 the royal government gave Patrix a second 
commission. This time, he was instructed to put an end to the conflict and to 
facilitate the sale or expropriation of the property. 55 All litigation from both sides 
would be reviewed by him, even though the outcome had already been decided 
in advance. 

But did the bailli and the temporal administrators act with the full support of 
the Catholic community? This is more difficult to determine, for the only Catho- 



52 The Protestants in question were: Pierre Champion, sieur de Charrieres, and his sister, 
Marthe Champion, wife of Pierre Cesvet, archer, Jeanne Sasserie, widow of Pierre 
Fournier, sieur de Fernault; Mademoiselle Renee Corbeau, widow of Jacques Du Chilleau, 
ecuyer sieur de Beauregard, Isaac Boisnier, apothecary in Saumur; Philippe Couppe, 
pasteur at St. Hilaire sur 1' Autize. Despite her earlier allegiance to the Catholic religion, 
Renee Corbeau later returned to the religion of her birth. "Testament de Renee Corbeau, 
veuve de maitre Etienne Fourreau, procureur aux sieges royaux de Loudun, le 21 octobre 
1 662," minutes de Jean Huger, notaire royal a Loudun, A.D. Vienne, E 4/53 : 399; registres 
des manages de Loudun, St. Pierre du Marche, acte du 17 fevrier 1641, A.M. Loudun, 
GG14; FDV20C3 Louis Corbeau; FDV7F9 Etienne Fourreau. 

53 Drouault, Recherches sur les Etablissements hospitaliers du Loudunais, pp. 77-80. 

54 Drouault, Recherches sur les Etablissements hospitaliers du Loudunais, p. 81; 
proces-verbaux, 12 avril 1677-21 juin 1677, A.H. Loudun, Al 4eme liasse, 27eme piece; 
injunction made by the bailli of Loudun to those of the Reformed Religion of Loudun 
regarding the new hospital of the Maison de Charite, le 10 decembre 1678, A.H. Loudun, 
Al 4eme liasse, 33eme piece; request by the inhabitants of Loudun to the intendant of 
Tours for a copy of the subdelegation concerning the arret of November, 1678, le 7 
decembre 1678, A.H. Loudun, Al 4eme liasse, 32eme piece. 

55 Arret of the Conseil d'etat granting authorisation to the temporal administrators of the 
Maison de Charite to purchase the houses and gardens for the new building, le 20 
novembre 1678, A.H. Loudun, Al 4eme liasse, 31 erne piece; request by the inhabitants 
of Loudun to the intendant of Tours for a copy of the subdelegation concerning the arret 
of November, 1678, le 7 decembre 1678, A.H. Loudun, Al 4eme liasse, 32eme piece; 
injunction made by the bailli of Loudun to those of the Reformed Religion of Loudun 
regarding the new hospital of the Maison de Charite, le 10 decembre 1678. A.H. Loudun, 
Al 4eme liasse, 33eme piece. 



20 Confraternitas 11:2 

lies that consistently appear in the documentation on the affair are the bailli and 
the procureur du roi along with the two temporal administrators, Guillaume 
Drouin and Louis Roy. And the only document that suggests the participation of 
the broader community is a request presented to the intendant of the generality of 
Tours for a copy of the commission of 20 November 1678. The document claims 
to have been prepared by the temporal administrators and the inhabitants of 
Loudun (presumably only the Catholics), 56 but the administrators alone signed it. 
Therefore, one cannot be certain if it is the product of a local assembly with many 
in attendance, because such a document would have included many more signa- 
tures and even the signatures of some city councillors and the city clerk or the 
syndic des habitants. By comparison, the legislation (albeit a copy of the original) 
to offer fiscal exemptions to various medical personnel who freely offered their 
services to the Maison, dated 9 April 1669, records 29 signatures, including three 
city councillors and the city clerk, undoubtedly the result of an assembly. 57 

Also curious is the lack of ecclesiastical involvement in the dispute. Of 
course, the spiritual administrator, Pierre Gambier, did march with Patrix and the 
others through the streets of Loudun to "choose" the new location, but he does 
not appear anywhere else in the documentation. One might argue that, in any case, 
clergymen would not have embroiled themselves in the dispute because such legal 
matters would have been more the responsibility of the two temporal administra- 
tors, who after all were trained legal professionals. However, a Catholic ecclesi- 
astic did at times engage in confessional politics. For example, the Reverend 
Father Meynier, a Jesuit, presented elaborate arguments to the syndics of the three 
dioceses of Poitiers, Lu$on and La Rochelle against the legality of the exercise 
of the Reformed faith in Loudun. 58 

We find also some degree of Catholic opposition in the donation made by 
Anne Gouin, herself a Catholic: she agrees to allow her donation of 900 livres to 
be used to purchase the property in the contested square, but in doing so she 
expresses a wish that the affair end peacefully, through God's mercy and the 
charitable spirit of the gens de bien, "notwithstanding all the efforts undertaken 
by the enemies of the supposedly Reformed Religion". 59 This, however, is the 



56 "Monsieur Tubeuf conseiller du roi en ses Conseils et mattre des requetes ordinaires de 
son hostel commissaire de partie pour 1' execution des ordres de sa Majeste en la generalite 
de Tours. ...supplie les habitants de la ville de Loudun et les sieurs administrateurs de 
l'hospital de ladite ville,...." A.H. Loudun, Al 4eme liasse, 32eme piece. 

57 A.H. Loudun, El 6, copies dedi verses pieces. Similar examples can found in the Archives 
municipales for the same period regarding various issues. 

58 Jean Filleau, Decisions catholiques..., pp. 838-839. 

59 "[NJonobstant tous les efforts des ennemis de la R.P.R." A.H. Loudun, E 16, copies de 
di verses pieces. The term "Religion pretendue Reformee" (supposedly Reformed 
Religion) was a legal term referring to French Protestants; its use was required in all 
documentation, despite the opposition of the Protestants themselves, who considered the 
term to be derogatory. Anne Gouin' s use of it here was not intended to mock the Protestant 
religion but reflects the notary's wish to conform to the dictates of normal notarial practice. 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 2 1 

voice of just one person: we do not know if other Catholics in Loudun harboured 
the same sentiments. 

Not surprisingly, the affair lasted about three years. The Protestant owners 
devised various obstacles to impede the expropriation of the property, claiming 
that they did not have total ownership of the property (and thus could not alienate 
it), contesting the experts' estimations, asking for more time in order to find 
alternative accomodation, opposing the terms of the sale, et cetera. Successive 
orders from the intendant and the bailli, however, wore down their resistance, so 
much so that only Marthe Champion held out to the last. Construction on the new 
Maison continued in a haphazard fashion through the late 1670s and early 1680s 
and was completed in 1683. 60 

Did the Catholic party of Loudun succeed in its broader goal of using the 
Maison de Charite to remove the Protestant temple? It is difficult to say with 
certainty. Perhaps the attempt to formulate a case before the Crown would have 
taken another two or three years, but in any case, by 1683 the continued viability 
of the Reformed Church in France was sinking quickly. 61 The temple did remain 
standing until the Revocation, for only as late as October 1685 were two com- 
panies of dragoons sent to dismantle it. 62 

Regardless, whether or not the temple was destroyed as a result of the 
construction of the Maison de Charite is barely a relevant question. What is 
important is that the Maison had so evolved into a firmly Catholic institution that 
it could be used to undermine Protestant worship in the city. This is not to devalue 
the important work that the Maison did in alleviating poverty, for to speak in 
relative terms, the Maison succeeded where former institutions had failed. Actu- 
ally, the two goals of charity and confessional homogeneity were not at all 
mutually exclusive or incompatible during this period, despite their apparent 
differences. In essence, both formed part of the program of Catholic restoration 
in seventeenth-century France. 

University of Toronto 



The author wishes to thank the staff of the Centre Hospitalier of Loudun for their 
assistance and their permission to consult the Centre's archives. Special thanks 
are also extended to Mme Sylviane Rohaut, who manages the municipal archives 
of the city, the staff of the Mairie of Loudun, and finally, the staff of the Archives 
departementales de la Vienne. I am also grateful to pasteur Vatinel for having lent 
me his fiches on the Protestant families of Loudun. 



60 Drouault, Recherches sur les Etablissements hospitallers du Loudunais, p. 84. 

61 Philip Benedict, "Un roi, une loi, deux fois: parameters for the history of 
Catholic-Reformed co-existence in France, 1555-1685," p. 80. 

62 M. Dumoustier de La Fond, Essais sur I 'histoire de la ville de loudun, premiere partie, p. 1 50. 



22 Confraternitas 11:2 

Appendix 

Supplication to the King by the Catholic Inhabitants of Loudun to 

obtain lettres patentes for the Maison de Charite 

A.H. Loudun, A 1 4eme liasse (le 4 mai 1670) 

Tous les officiers et habitans catholiques de ceste ville de Lodun supplient et remonstrent 
tres humblement a vostre Majeste disans qu'en l'annee xvi c quarante huict ay ant veu dans 
le pays une disette et sterilite de fruictz extraordinaire quy reduisoit une partye desditz 
habitans et de la campagne a des miseres et maladies incroyables lis prirent resolution de 
faire un effort pour tascher de les soulager dans ce rencontre, Tant pour le spirituel, Que 
temporel a quoy ilz creurent ne pouvoir mieux ressuir Qu'en establissant audit Lodun un 
hospital, ou Maison de Charite a l'exemple des autres villes de vostre Royaume quy par 
ce moien simble y attira touttes les benedictions du ciel, et de faicte l'advocat et procureur 
de vostre Majeste au Bailliage dudit Lodun en ayant faictz la proposition en pleine 
assemblee elle fut generallement receue de tous lesditz habitans mesme de ceux faisant 
profession de la Religion pretendue reformee, quy sont en grand nombre dans ladite ville, 
comme il en appert par le procez verbal quy fut faict lors de ladite assemblee pardevant 
le Bailly dudit lieu, sy bien quil fut arreste avec vostre permission et soubz le bon plaisir 
de vostre Majeste il seroit estably audit Lodun un hostel dieu ou Maison de Charite 
conforme a celle des autres villes de la france attendu qu'iceluy avoit qu'une aumosnerye 
dans lun des fauxbourgs, ou Ion ne doibt retirer et loger que les passans et vagabonds, 
espace de vingt quatre heures et comme lesditz habitans et particulierement les 
catholiques nestoient pas beaucoup dans le pouvoir de trouver un fondz pour faire cet 
establissement maitre Jehan Mignon prebtre doyen des chanoines de l'eglise collegiale 
de Saincte-Croix dudit lieu auroit eu le zele et la charite d'offrir pour ce desseing une 
maison assez commode et spacieuse quil achepta et paya de ses propres deniers scituee 
dans ladite ville, ou Ion commenca soubz vostre authorite et avecq lagrerement du sieur 
Evesque de Poictiers quy en est diocesin dy recevoir et loger plusieurs pauvres Malades, 
quy en ont receu un tel soulagement ainsy que tous ceux quy y ont este admis jusque a 
present Que sans ce secours plus de quinze cens desditz habitans et autres personnes du 
pays seroient mortes miserablement sans sacremens, outre ceux qui se sont convertis a la 
foy Catholique qu'on a receus dans cette maison et quy y ont ete s-[[paper damaged; could 
be secoue" ou soigne]] pendant leurs maladies, tant par ledit Mignon qu'autres 
Ecclesiastiques quy les ont visitez lesquels leur sont redebvables apres dieu de leur salut 
eternel de sorte que cette maison et ce quy navoit este fondee du communement que par 
lassistance dudit Mignon, quy en a este estably par ledit sieur Evesque de poitiers directeur 
spirituel en a en un sy grand soing quapres y avoir donne sa bibliotheque il a fait en sorte 
quelle a este munye et assiste jusques a present, de Medecin, Apotiquaire et chirurgien 
n' ay ant personne de piete quy servent ladite maison de charite gratuitement aussy quil 
ny avoit pas de revenu suffisant pour cela, dans le [[damaged; dans le cas?]] que lesditz 
officiers seroient exempts, ou peu taxez aux Rolles de taille et du sel, comme cela se 
pratique a leur Esgard, dans les villes du Royaume et que mesmement le colon d'une 
mestairie qui a este leguee depuis peu a ladite maison de charite, par [[damaged; arrest?]] 
de vostre parlement de pans, de cens ou six vingt livres de rente quy faict une bonne 
partye du revenu de ladite maison sera aussy impose esditz Rolles a une somme modique 
ce quy a este ainsy accorde par lesditz habitans quy auraient consenti par acte d'une autre 
assemblee Que lesditz Medecin, Apotiquaire et Chirurgien fussent taxez et reduitz a 
ladvenir chascun a cen sols pour la taille et a ung boisseau de sel et ledit colon a dix livres 
de taille et a ung boisseau de sel attendu le bien et ladvantage que cet hospital et maison 
de charite apporte aux habitans laquelle quoy quelle ayt fort peu de revenu et neantmoings 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 23 

par la conduitte dudit Mignon et de celle de plusieurs personnes dhonneur et ce quy y 
donnent leurs soings une des plus necessaires [[problem with the photograph of the 
document]] en confirmant cet Establissement comme vous avez faict dans les autres lieux 
de ce royaume ou vous avez faict paroistre que les hospitaux et Maisons de charite ont 
tousiours este soubz une particuliere protection de vostre Majeste cequy faict justement 
esperer aux supplians que vous avez non seulement la bonte d' avoir agreable celle quy a 
este establie audit Loudun, mais encores leur faire la grace de le maintenir et confirmer 
dans les privilleges et immunitez dont jouissent les autres hospitaux du Royaume, 
ensemble de la taxe et reduction que lesditz habitans ont accordees et consentye a lesgard 
des officiers quy servent ladite maison de charite sans recompence et ledit colon de la 
seule mestairye quy en despend comme aussy leur octroyer en faveur desditz pauvres et 
hostel dieu la remise et admortissement des droit quy vous est deub pour raison du lieu 
ou ledit hospital est estably ensemble de laditte mestairye appellee Seneuil et par ce moien 
Sire vous [[damaged]] avec plus d'abondance sur vostre sacree et Royalle personne toutes 
les graces et benedictions du ciel, Que vous souhaittent tres ardemment tous les officiers 
et habitans de vostreditte ville de loudun quy demanderont continuellement a dieu avec 
les pauvres malades de ladite Maison de charite quy sont les membres de Jesus christ quil 
vous recoive apres de longues et heureuses annees dans ses tabernacles eternels quy ne 
peuvent manquer a vostre Majeste apres toutes vos belles et sainctes actions et en leur 
faisant cette faveur a\ cette justice. 

[signatures]: Patrix bailly de Loudunois, Roy lieutenant civil, Naudin advocat du Roy, 
Pasquer; Normandine eslu de ville, Clement, Normand, P. Laurant, P. Huet, Chevallier, 
C. Chauvet assesseur, J. Chevreau president, Philbert lieutenant criminel, G. Rogier, C. 
Aubineau, Diotte, Aubineau, Thibault, Briant, Petit. 

Cited Sources 
Archival Sources 

Archives hospitalieres de Loudun 

A 1, Actes de fondation, droits percus sur la foire de St. Barnabe par 1'ausmonerie 

St. Jean de Loudun, acquisition par Jehan Mignon d'une maison,.... 1525- 

1697. 
C Matieres ecclesiastiques - chapelles, ausmoneries, cimetieres, negrologie, 

fondations, testaments, 
carton B2 6eme liasse: documents concernant la rente de 3 1 boisseaux et demi de ble 

froment dO a 1' hospice par les hertiers de maitre Pr Champion. 
D 2eme liasse, Inventaire des titres, le 19 decembre 1684. 
E 16 copies de diverses pieces. 

E 21, Copie du papier de Receptes pour les annees 1684, 1685 et 1686. 
E 21, Registre de Receptes, 1662-1671. 
H, Papiers et correspondences diverses ne rentrant pas dans les seins precedents. 

Archives municipales de Loudun 

AA 3 2eme piece: Enquete faite par Denis Amelot, seigneur de Chaillou, etc., 
intendant en Poitou et Saintonge, au sujet d'une difficulte elevee entre les 
catholiques et les reformes sur l'election des officiers de ville. L'enquete se 
termine par un reglement pour l'election des elus, echevins et syndics, qui 
seront pris en nombre egal dans chacune des deux religions (mars 1624). Le 
premier feuillet de la minute de cette requete n'existe plus. 

BB 30, documents concernant la peste de Loudun de 1632. 



24 Confraternitas 11:2 

GG 5-29: Registres des baptemes de la paroisse de Saint-Pierre-du-Marche (1594- 

1685) 
GG 182-192: Registres des baptemes de la paroisse de Saint-Pierre-du-Martray 

(1595-1685) 
GG 195-197: Tables des baptemes protestants de l'eglise reformee de Loudun 

(1566-1608, 1621-1663) 
GG 245: Table chronologique des baptemes de la paroisse de Saint-Pierre-du-Marche 

(1593-1678) 

Archives departementales de Loudun 

E 4/53: 69-90 minutes de Thomas Aubery l'aine, notaire royal a Loudun 

E 4/53: 109-124, minutes de Thomas Aubery le jeune, notaire royal a Loudun 

E 4/53: 306-328, minutes Rene Douteau, notaire royal a Loudun 

E 4/53: 394, 396^01, minutes de Jean Huger, notaire royal a Loudun 

E 4/53: 395, minutes de Mathieu Huger, notaire royal a Loudun 

E 4/55: 44-58, minutes de Rene Confex, notaire royal a Loudun 

E 4/53: 175-178, minutes de Pregent Bureau, notaire royal a Loudun 

E 4/1: 92, minutes de Pierre Fouscher, notaire royal a Loudun 

Mediatheque Francois Mitterand, Poitiers: Salle de la Patrimoine 

Ms. A.2. M303 Pieces relatives au proces d'Urbain Grandier conservees a la 
Bibliotheque publique de Poitiers, piece no. 26: Champion, Pierre. Discours 
sur Vhistoire de la diablerie de Loudun et sur la mort de maitre Urbain 
Grandier cure de ladite ville faict par Pierre Champion procureur audict 
Loudun pour sa satisfaction. 16p. in-4o. La fin de ce manuscrit se manque. 
Fiches de Denis Vatinel sur les families protestantes de Loudun, XVI-VIIIe siecles. 

Published Sources 

Aries, Philippe. L' Homme devant la mort. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1977. 

Aubin, Nicolas. Histoire des Diables de Loudun ou De La Possession des Religieuses 
Ursulines et de la condamnation et du supplice d'Urbain Grandier Cure de la 
mime ville. Amsterdam: Abraham Wolfgang, Pres de la Bourse, 1693. 

Barnes, Andrew E. "The Transformation of Penitent Confraternities over the Ancien 
Regime." eds. John Patrick Donnelly, S.J., Michael W. Maher, S.J. Confraternities 
and Catholic Reform in Italy, France, and Spain. 123-135. Kirksville, Mo.: 
Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1999. 

Barnes, Andrew E. The Social Dimension of Piety: Associative Life and Religious Change 
in the Penitent Confraternities of Marseille 1499-1792. New York: Paulist Press, 
1994. 

Benedict, Philip. "Un roi, une loi, deux fois: Parameters for the History of Catholic- 
Reformed Co-Existence in France, 1555-1685". I am grateful to Professor Bene- 
dict for having sent me a transcription of his paper, which is now published in 
Tolerance and Intolerance in the European Reformation: Papers from a Conference 
held at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in September, 1994. eds. Ole Peter Grell 
and Bob Scribner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. 65-93. 

Benoist, Elie. Histoire de VEdit de Nantes, contenant les choses les plus remarquables 
qui se sont passees en France avant et apres sa publication, a V occasion de la 
diversite des Religions: Et principalement les Contraventions, Inexecutions, Chi- 
canes, Artifices, Violences, et autres Injustices, que les Reformez se plaignent d'y 
avoir souffertes, jusques a Vedit de Revocation en Octobre 1685. Avec ce qui a 



Charity and Confessional Difference in Seventeenth-Century France 25 

suivi ce nouvel edit jusques a present. 3 tomes. Delft: chez Adrien Beman, 
1693-1695. 

Bernard, Pierre. L' explication de I'edit de Nantes, de M. Bernard. Avec de nouvelles 
observations, et les nouveaux edits, declarations et arrests donnezjusqu 'a present, 
touchant la religion pretendue reformee, parM. Soulier, prestre. Paris: A. Dezall- 
ier, 1683. 

Carbonnier, M. "Magie et heresie, ou l'amalgame dans le proces d'Urbain Grandier". 
Annales de VUniversite de Poitiers Revue generale du Centre-Ouest de la France. 
Deuxieme serie, No. 4 (1952-1954): 60-68. 

Cassan, Michel. Le Temps des Guerres de Religion: le cas du Limousin (vers 1530-vers 
1630). Paris: Publisud, 1996. 

Chalumeau, R.P. "L'Assistance aux Malades Pauvres au XVIIe siecle." XVIIe siecle 69 
(1965): 75-86. 

Charbonneau-Lassay, Louis. Heraldique Loudunaise. La Roche-Rigault: PSR Editions, 
1996. 

Chaunu, Pierre. La mort a Paris: 16e, lie, 18e siecles. Paris: Fayard, 1978. 

Chene, Christian. "Testaments fortunes et religions. La pratique testamentaire a Ganges 
de la fin du XVIIe siecle au debut du XVIIIe siecle". Max-Planck Insitut fu 
europaische Reichtgeschicte (Frankfurt/Main); Instituto di storia del diritto 
italiano Universita degli Studi di Milan; Instiutut d'Histoire des anciens pays de 
droit ecrit (Universite de Montepellier I). Confluence des droits savants et des 
pratiques juridiques. Actes du Colloque de Montpellier. Colloque tenu du 12 au 
14 decembre 1977, sous le patronage et avec le financement du C.N.R.S. Guiffre, 
Editore, 1979. 181-220. 

Chill, Emanuel. "Religion and Mendicity in seventeenth-century France." International 
Review of Social History 1 (1962): 400-425. 

Christin, Olivier. La Paix de Religion: L'autonomisation de la raison politique au XVIe 
siecle. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1997. 

De Ferriere, Claude- Joseph. Nouvelle Introduction a la Pratique contenant V Explication des 
Termes de Pratique, de Droit et de Coutumes: avec les Jurisdictions de France. 
Nouvelle edition, revue, corrigee et augmentee. Bruxelles: Par la Societe, 1739. 

Dumoustier de La Fond, M. Essais sur Vhistoire de la ville de Loudun. Poitiers: chez 
Michel-Vincent Chevrier, 1778. 

Dinges, Martin. "Attitudes a l'egard de la pauvrete aux XVIe et XVIIe siecles a Bor- 
deaux." Histoire, Economie et Societe 10 no. 3 (1991): 359-374. 

Drouault, Roger. Recherches sur les etablissements hospitallers du Loudunais. Loudun: 
Impr. de Roiffe, 1895. 

Dupaquier, Jacques, Dir. Histoire de la population francaise, tome 2, de la Renaissance 
a 1789, Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1995. 

Depauw, Jacques. Spiritualite et pauvrete a Paris au XVIIe siecle. Paris: La Boutique de 
l'Histoire, 1999. 

Edwards, Peter J. "An Aspect of the French Counter-Reform Movement: la Compagnie 
du Saint-Sacrement." Dalhousie Review 56 no. 3 (1976): 479-492. 

Filleau, Jean. Decisions catholiques ou Recueil General des Arrests Rendus en toutes les 
Cours Souveraines de France en execution, ou interpretation des Edits, qui 
concernent VExercice de la Religion Pret. Reformee, Avec les Raisons 
Fondamentales desdits Arrests, tirees de la Doctrine des Peres de VEglise, des 
Conciles, et des Loix Civiles et Politiques du Royaume. Examine et approuve par 
V Assemblee V Assemblee Generale du Clerge de France. Dedie a Monseigneur Le 
Tellier, Ministre et Secretaire d'Etat. Poitiers: Jan Fleuriau, Imprimeuret Libraire 
ordinaire du Roi, et de l'Universite, 1668, Avec privilege du roi. 



26 Confraternitas 11:2 

Formon, Marcelle Gabrielle. "La Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement a Poitiers." Bulletin de 

la societe des Antiquaires de VOuest 4e serie No. 2 4e trim (1953): 526-543. 
Formon, Marcelle Gabrielle. "Un Eveque de la Contre-Reforme: La Rocheposay et le 

Diocese de Poitiers 1612-1651." These pour le Doctorat d'Universite soutenue 

devant la Faculte des Lettres de l'Universite de Poitiers, le 2 juin, 1951. 
Foucault, Michel. Histoire de lafolie a I'dge classique. Paris: Gallimard, 1972. 
France (government, etc.). L'Edit de Nantes (texte integral en francais moderne). ed. 

Daniele Thomas. [Bizanos]: Heracles, 1998. 
Grandier, Urbain. Traicte du Celibat des prestres par Urbain Grandier. Opuscule inedit. 

Introduction et notes par Robert Luzarche. Paris: chez Rene Pincebourde a la 

Librairie Richelieu, 1866. 
Gutton, Jean-Pierre. "Enfermement et charite dans la France de l'Ancien Regime." 

Histoire, Economie et Societe 10 no. 3 (1991): 353-358. 
Hickey, Daniel. Local Hospitals in Ancien Regime France: rationalization, resistance, 

renewal, 1530-1789. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1997. 
Jones, Colin. The Charitable Imperative: Hospitals and Nursing in Ancien Regime and 

Revolutionary France. London, New York: Routledge, 1989. 
Lachiver, Marcel. Dictionnaire du monde rural: les mots du passe. Paris: Fayard, 1997. 
Lecler, Joseph, S.J. Histoire de la tolerance au siecle de la Reforme. Paris: Albin Michel, 

1955, 1994. 
Lerosey, Auguste-Louis. Loudun: Histoire civile et religieuse. Loudun: Librairie 

Blanchard, 1908; Marseille: Laffirre Reprints, 1980. 
Naudin, Marc-Antoine. Lettre de M.A. Naudin Avocat en parlement a Monsieur des Loges 

Ministre a Loudun sur son changement de religion, avec la response dudit Sr des 

Loges ou sont trainees les principales controverses. A Saumur par Jeahn Lesnier, 

Imprimeur et Libraire, Au Livre d'Or. 1651. 
Norberg, Kathryn. Rich and Poor in Grenoble, 1600-1814. Berkeley: University of 

California Press, 1985. 
Pecquet, Marguerite. "Des Compagnies de Penitents a la Compagnie du Saint-Sacre- 
ment." XVIIe siecle 69 (1965): 3-36. 
Pugh, Wilma J. "Catholics, Protestants and Testamentary Charity in Seventeenth-Century 

Lyon and Nimes." French Historical Studies 11 no. 4 (1980): 479-504. 
Pugh, Wilma J. "Social Welfare and the Edict of Nantes: Lyons and Nimes." French 

Historical Studies 8 no. 3 (Spring 1974): 349-376. 
Rapley, Robert. A Case of Witchcraft: The Trial of Urbain Grandier. Montreal: McGill- 
Queen's University Press, 1998. 
Sauzet, Robert. "Les confreries du diocese de Nimes a la fin du XVIIe et au debut du 

XVIIIe siecle." Chroniques desfreres ennemis: Catholiques et Protestants a Nimes 

du XVIe au XVIIIe siecle. Caen, Paradigme, 1992. 195-202. 
Tallon, Alain. La Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement (1629-1667): Spiritualite et societe. 

Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1990. 
Tallon, Alain. "Priere et Charite dans la Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement (1629-1667)". 

Histoire, Economie et Societe 10 no. 3 (1991): 331-343. 
Van Deursen, A. -Theodore. Professions et metiers interdits. Un aspect de I'histoire de 

la Revocation de I'Edit de Nantes. Groningue: J.B. Wolters, 1960. 
Venard, Marc. "Les Oeuvres de Charite en Avignon a l'aube du XVIIe siecle." XVUe 

siecle 69 (1965): 127-146. 
Viard, Georges. "Bureaux des pauvres et confrerries de charite en Champagne 

meriodionale (XVIe-XVIIIe siecles)." Histoire, Economie et Societe 10 no. 3 

(1991): 317-332. 



News 

Our member and correspondent, Giovanna Casagrande, informs us that the second 
"Congreso Internacional de la Vera Cruz" was held in Caravaca de la Cruz 
(Murcia, Spain) this past 12-15 October 2000. Its aim was to examine the 
devotion to the Cross and to the Crucifix over the ages, its diffusio, and con- 
fraternities devoted to this cult from the Middle Ages to the present. The congress 
paid particular attention to the cult in the Iberian peninsula, Italy, and Latin 
America. The following papers were presented: Jose Sanchez Herrero (University 
of Seville) "La devocion a la Cruz y la Sangre de Cristo desde el siglo IV al XVI"; 
Giovanna Casagrande (University of Perugia) "Le confraternite della S. Croce e 
del SS. Crocifisso nell' Italia centrale (secoli XIII-XVI)"; Maria Fernanda Enes 
(Universitu of Lisbon) "Las Cofradfas de la Santa Cruz en Portugal en los siglos 
XVI al XVIII"; Joaquin Rodriguez Mateos "La devocion a la Santa Cruz de 
Caravaca en America"; Diego Marin Ruiz de Assin "La Cofradia de la Vera Cruz 
de Caravaca, siglos XV al XX"; Cristobal Belda Navarra (University of Murcia) 
"El lignum Crucis y el Tratado de las Reliquias del Obispo Sancho Davila"; Elfas 
Hernandez Albaladejo (University of Murcia) "La Vera Cruz de Caravaca y la 
arquitectura para las reliquias"; Jesus Juarez Parraga (Bishop of El Alto in 
Bolivia) "Sentido benefico-asistencial de la Cofradia de la Vera Cruz." A number 
of other presentations brought the specific aspects of the Spanish context into 
greater focus. The conference proceedings are expected to be published in 2001. 

The Society for Confraternity Studies is sponsoring two sessions on confraternit- 
ies at the annual conference of the Renaissance Society of America, 29-31 
March 200 1 , in Chicago. Details of the sessions were published in the Spring 2000 
issue of Confraternitas (see Vol. 1 1 No. 1, pp. 24-25). For information on the 
RSA Conference, see its website www.r-s-a.org or contact the RSA at 
rsa@is.nyu.edu, tel. (212) 998-3797, fax (212) 995-4205. To submit proposals 
for confraternity sessions or papers at the April 2002 meeting in Tempe, Arizona, 
please contact Prof. Nicholas Terpstra (email: nicholas.terpstra@utoronto.ca). 

The Society is sponsoring one session on confraternities at the annual Medieval 
Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It will deal with "Confraternities and the 
Arts" and will include the following presentations: Susan V. Webster (University 
of Saint Thomas) "A Major Confraternity Commission in Colonial Quito, Ecu- 
ador: The Church of El Sagrario"; Sera E. Antheunis (State University of New 
York at Buffalo) "Singing the Sacred: Disciplinati Confraternities at Assisi and 
the Expression of Franciscan Spirituality"; Monica Dominguez Torres (Univer- 
sity of Toronto) "Bonding the Community of Souls: The Mediating Role of the 
Retablo de Animas in New Spain." The session was organized and will be chaired 
by Joelle Rollo-Koster (University of Rhode Island). 



27 



28 Confraternitas 11:2 

To submit proposals for confraternities sessions or papers for the May 2002 
Kalamazoo congress, please contact Prof. Joelle Rollo-Koster at: tel. 401/874- 
4089; fax 401/874-2595; email Joelle@uri.edu 

Remember to send a copy of your articles and books to Confraternitas . Please 
address them to the editor, Prof. Konrad Eisenbichler, Victoria College NF 219, 
University of Toronto, 73 Queen's Park Crescent East, Toronto, Ontario M5S 
1K7, Canada. All contributions will be listed in the "Publications Received" 
rubric of Confraternitas, books will be reviewed immediately, and both articles 
and books will then be deposited into the "Confraternities Collection" at the 
Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto. The 
Collection now consists of a total of 587 items received and deposited from 1990 to 
1999. These items break down into: 164 books, 301 articles, 25 reviews, 94 issues 
of periodicals, 3 theses, and 1 compact disk. A very respectable collection! 

Help us spread the good news about confraternity studies. You can do so by 

asking your library to subscribe to Confraternitas and to order back issues (the 
entire run of back issues from 1990 to 1999 can be purchased for only $ 85, 
including postage). Then, let your friends and colleagues, and especially your 
students, working on matters confraternal know of our existence and urge them 
to become members. A Directory of Members was compiled in January 2000 and 
was mailed out with last spring's issue of Confraternitas. 



Reviews 

Confraternities and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Italy. Ritual, Spectacle, Image. 
Eds. Barbara Wisch and Diane Cole Ahl. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University 
Press, 2000. xiv, 314 pp., 65 illustrations. ISBN 0-521-66288-5 

This collection of eleven interdisciplinary essays deals with confraternal patron- 
age of the visual arts in Renaissance Italy. The quality and broad range of the 
volume will be much appreciated specially among art historians, as most of the 
contributions offer innovative frames to analyze issues of artistic patronage in 
early modern Europe. In the last three decades, an increasing body of art historical 
scholarship has been concerned with the socio-cultural contexts that surround the 
creation of art, considering works of art not only as objects, but also as processes. 
As a result, the role of confraternities as patrons of the arts in early modern Italy 
has been broadly acknowledged, but few works have been totally devoted to the 
issue, analyzing in depth specific cases and identifying the particular circum- 
stances that prompted corporate enterprises. 

The collection of articles edited by Barbara Wisch and Diane Cole Ahl 
represents an important step in this direction, since all the essays deal with case 
studies that illuminate the understanding of both consecrated and unknown artistic 
products of confraternal patronage. Two different articles by Louise Marshall and 
Diane Cole Ahl, for example, analyze the ways in which specific corporate 
identities were shaped through puntual iconographic and formal programs. As 
opposed to traditional interpretations that have read quintaessential works of the 
Italian Renaissance either as responses to troubled times or as reinterpretations 
of influencial models, Marshall and Cole discuss well known altarpieces in 
relation to their role within the confraternal rituals, reinterpreting their icono- 
graphic and compositional features in relation to the individual and collective 
identities that those panels were supposed to satisfy. 

In another line, the essay by Konrad Eisenbichler reminds us about the 
different and complex patterns of acquisition of confraternal art that were in place 
in Renaissance Italy. A detailed study of documents belonging to the confraternity 
of the Arcangelo Raffaello, points to individual donations as the main way of 
acquiring artistic works, and to the use and reuse of artistic monuments by 
different confraternal groups. As a result, the traditional intepretative model 
commission-production is replaced here by a new frame that incorporates also 
reception and use into the agenda of study of religious monuments. 

The political dimension of confraternal commissions is discussed by Nicho- 
las Terpstra. He proposes that confraternal charities in Renaissance Bologna were 
part of a campaign to reshape the architectural landscape of an important papal 
stronghold. As a result, confraternal competition and familial rivalry enter also 
to the intricate game of motivations within corporate patronage. 

Other interesting articles complement the panorama of confraternal involve- 
ment in the visual arts, exploring the evolution of devotional practices, the roles 



29 



30 Confraternitas 11:2 

of women, and the age's conception of charity, among other issues. In short, this 
is a comprehensive and interdisciplinary work of research that will become soon 
a crucial reference in the field. 

Monica Dominguez Torres 
Fine Art, University of Toronto 

La chiesa di San Giorgio a Montemerano. Arte, storia e fede. Eds. Cristina Gnoni 
Mavarelli, Ludovica Sebregondi, Ulisse Tramonti. Firenze: Edizioni della Meridiana, 
2000. 175 pp., illustrations 

This volume gives credence to the aphorism that good things come in small 
packages. It offers an enthrallingly enjoyable, detailed historical look at the 
church of San Giorgio, consecrated in 1430, in the town of Montemerano 
(Tuscany). Through the ages, some very prominent artists have contributed their 
talent to this church's decorations, including Sassetta, Lorenzo di Pietro (known 
as Vecchietta), and several artists of the Scola senese. The artwork itself consists 
of a surprisingly ample collection of paintings, murals, frescoes, stuccos, brass 
work, as well as carvings in wood, marble and stone. The volume is divided into 
two sections; the first consisting of four essays by Adorno della Monaca, Ulisse 
Tramonti, Ludovica Sebregondi, and Christina Gnoni Mavarelli, highlighting 
various aspects of the building's history; the second being a fine compilation of 
photographs of the church's artwork and artefacts. 

The first essay, by Adorno della Monaca, begins with a reference to Marshall 
McLuhan's dictu rm that "the Medium is the Message", in order to highlight the 
fact that the Church, in order to propound its doctrine, has oftentimes had to 
change the media it uses so as to continue successfully to spread the word of God 
in a fashion that appeals to the varying sentiments of its public. Della Monaca 
discusses how this particular church very effectively employed various elements 
of mass appeal and how it applied widely recognized religious and secular 
iconography to its multi-media approach to religious pedagogy. Ulisse Tramonti 
then provides a fascinating and informative history of both the church and the 
town of Montemerano itself. Synthesizing archaeological and documental evi- 
dence, Tramonti presents a detailed analysis of the architectural history of San 
Giorgio from its inception to the 20th century. Ludovica Sebregondi supplies a 
very interesting and detailed chronology of the numerous renovations and resto- 
rations the church has undergone between 1 382 (when it already carried the name 
of San Giorgio but was not yet consecrated as such), and 1999. She identifies 
Bartolomeo di Giovanni as the person to whom is owed the church's importance, 
magnificence and prominence amongst the churches of the Maremma. Sebregondi 
shows how Bartolomeo di Giovanni was solely responsible for bringing to the 
church the distinguishing honour of a pontifical consecration with elaborate 
ceremony that was rarely used, as well as being the primary instigator of the 
artistic tradition that sets San Giorgio apart from the rest of houses of worship in 
the Maremma. Her analysis is narrated in discursive fashion, containing many 



Reviews 3 1 

items of added information that make reading her article both informative and 
pleasurable. Cristina Gnoni Mavarelli picks up where Sebregondi left off, provid- 
ing us with a final word on the restoration techniques, both good and bad, used 
in the past and how these techniques have impacted contemporary efforts to 
replenish fully the beauty of the various works of art. Mavarelli then delineates 
some of the contemporary restoration techniques used in San Giorgio and closes 
her article with an outline of the proposed curative projects for the coming years. 
The photographs in the latter part of the volume are exquisitely prepared, 
with sharp, clear close-ups that bring into prominence the richness of the colours 
as well as the bold textures of the various art objects and artefacts. The excellence 
of the gloss (in English and German) and the commentaries that accompany each 
photograph accomplish their intended task of inspiring the reader to pay a 
first-hand visit to this church that is as small in size as it is large in historical 
religious significance. 

Fabio Calabrese 
Department of Italian Studies 
University of Toronto 

Patkova, Hana. Bratrstvie ke cti bozie. Pozndmky ke kultovni tinnosti bratrstev e 
cechu ve sftedov&kych Cechdch (Praha: KLP, 2000) p. 213. 

For a long time, Hana Patkova's research has revolved around the origins and 
activities of religious brotherhoods in Bohemia during the Middle Ages. Not only 
has Patkova published many articles on this topic, but also an impressive volume 
on Czech painters. We now have a monographic study from her that analyses the 
religious activities of brotherhoods and guilds in Bohemia during the Middle 
Ages. Patkova has limited her study geographically, concentrating only on the 

Bohemian lands, thereby excluding Morawskie and Sl^skie brotherhood groups 
from her research interest. 

Activities of the oldest brotherhood groups in Bohemia can be traced and 
documented in the sources from the 1330s onward. During this period, brother- 
hoods dedicated to the maintenance of a hospital located next to the Franciscan 
monastery in Prague, which soon gained the status of an independent red star Holy 
Cross monastery, have been noted. Other groups can be traced from the fourteenth 
century, which the author has set as a starting point for her research (the year 
1520, on the other hand, corresponding to the beginning of the Reformation, has 
been selected has a terminus ad quern). 

The purpose of Patkova's study is to investigate the religious activities of 
brotherhoods and guilds and to distinguish their principal forms of functioning. 
The author pays particular attention to the terminology associated with brother- 
hoods and guilds. Guilds are conceptualized as organizational corporations organ- 
ized primarily by artisans who were involved with production and trade. The term 
"brotherhood" has been conceptualized, instead, as a more heterogeneous orga- 
nization of members not limited to one particular type of profession nor to one 



3 2 Confrate rnitas 11:2 

social group. The two terms, "brotherhood" and "guild", however, often appear 
interchangeably and alongside other terms such as bruderschaft, fraternitas, 
confraternitas. Patkova argues that for this time in history it is not possible to 
specify the character of the organizational corporation by relying simply on the 
terms "brotherhood" or "guild." It has been noted within the literature that during 
the fourteenth century and at the beginning of the fifteenth century organizational 
corporations were more often called "fraternitas", rather than "guilds" in Latin 
texts appearing in Prague. During the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth 
century, the Czech terms for "brotherhood" and "guild" appear interchangeably 
to describe artisan corporations and Czech dominates as the primary language 
used in these texts, in opposition to Latin and German. 

In earlier studies, Czech brotherhoods were examined from various points of 
view, but rarely were their religious characteristics and activities discussed at 
length. 

The primary sources of information on the nature and forms of brotherhood 
and guild activities are statutes, documents and testaments, as well as guild and 
brotherhood tomes, which are rare. Various sources of information on the mem- 
bership of occupational associations from before 1520 have been found: gold- 
smith accounts in Prague (1324), Service to God Brotherhood from St. Wita 
Cathedral in Prague (1328-1403), Prague Old Town painters (1348-1527), bakers 
and sailors from Budziejowice in Bohemia. One such source is a volume, probably 
from the area between the Czech Krumlowem and the Czech Budziejowice, that 
is a list of members of the malsters' brotherhood for whom prayers were to be 
said. Similar volumes are believed to have existed in greater numbers, but they 
have not survived. To supplement written materials, physical historical sources 
have been used, such as coats of arms, seals and reliquaries. During the pre-Huss- 
ite period, brotherhoods existed and were active in large cities, such as Prague 
and Kutna Hora, as well as in smaller ones such as Most and Litomierzyce. 
Documents show that religious brotherhoods also existed in small towns, however 
the surviving documents do not allow us to understand fully the dynamics 
surrounding the activities of these associations within these environments. There 
were also brotherhoods of country priests and brotherhoods in the monasteries, 
such as in Sedlec. At the beginning of the sixteenth century one also finds rare 
accounts of a village corporation of farmers, for example in Litwinowice. 

In a series of short chapters Patkova describes the activities of the Corpus 
Christi Brotherhood, the Virgin Mary Brotherhood, the Rosary Brotherhood, the 
'litterati', the Fusiliers Brotherhood, and the spiritual brotherhood of St. Anne 
and of St. Jacob, as well as corporate associations. The essential function of this 
community was a shared religious life, which included participation in masses 
and church ceremonies, in church festivals and processions, altar blessings, the 
care of and religious masses for the dead, and the preparation of funerals 
according to cult provisions. 

One of the essential features of the cult activity of the brotherhoods and 
guilds was ensuring salvation after death. Brotherhood and guild chapels were 
used, first and foremost, as places where mourners gathered, where masses for 



Reviews 33 

the dead were celebrated, and where prayers were recited for the souls of the 
members. During the late Middle Ages funerals were regulated by church norms. 
The funeral began at the home of the deceased where relatives, friends, and fellow 
brothers took part in prayer. The deceased was then transferred to the church on 
a bier, around which candles were lit. Patkova argues that in the fifteenth century 
definite distinctions for funeral services existed based on the age and social 
position of the deceased. The funerals of journeymen, novices and children were 
less ostentatious than the funerals of masters. The funeral of the wife of a master 
was the same as the funeral of a master, whereas the funeral of a servant girl 
corresponded to that of a journeyman. There existed, however, certain regional 
differences. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, on the Rosenberg estates, 
the funeral of a journeyman was comparable to the funeral of a master. 

Apart from funerals and divine services for the dead, corporate associations 
organized other ceremonies and masses. Among the various church services that 
did appear, the principal ceremony was the celebration of the feast day of the 
corporation's patron saint. Painters honoured St. Luke, goldsmiths revered St. 
Eligius, merchants celebrated St. Nicholas. Patkova establishes a link between 
the calling of these organizations and issues of religiosity in Bohemia, especially 
in the wake of the Hussite wars. By studying religious rituals that suggest how 
exterior behaviour might be seen as a measure of religious practices, Patkova 
relates these phenomena to conceptions of time and space, as well as to an analysis 
of those social groups that took part in brotherhoods and guilds. 

On the basis of her extensive examination of previously untapped manuscript 
data, Patkova concludes that both in the Catholic and Utraquist milieus there 
appeared associations of fusiliers and brotherhoods of 'litterati'. Associations 
linked with the new cult of saints, St. Anne and St. James brotherhoods and the 
Rosary Brotherhoods, however, appear only in the Catholic milieu. 

In the chapter entitled "Brotherhoods, Church Organizations and Help for 
the Layman", Patkova shows the gradual influence of diocesan administration on 
the organization of brotherhoods. The data available does not allow us to establish 
clearly the exact period in which this influence can be seen. It can be noted, 
however, that the secular administration did consistently interfere with the activ- 
ities of the corporation. Statutes for brotherhoods of 'litterati' and for fusiliers in 
IJsti over Labem seem to have existed in 1490 when brotherhood superiors, being 
also guild superiors, swore an oath to the City Council, In layman brotherhoods, 
administrators were themselves laymen. The introduction of priests into positions 
of corporate administrators can be observed by the end of the fifteenth century. 

Patkova also examines the openness of the corporation as well as its possible 
hermetic aspect. By the end of the fourteenth century there existed a clear 
predisposition on the part of guild communities to limit both the introduction of 
new members and the number of guild fellows. In opposition to the guilds, 
brotherhoods were open to both men and women who wished to join the commu- 
nity. Spiritual corporations accepted not only representatives of their order, but 
also men and women from the secular realm of society. An example of this can 
be found with the Prague curate and altar server brotherhoods in St. Vinus 



34 Confrate rnitas 11:2 

Cathedral. Church corporations, to which suburban and rural dwellers were 
subject, constituted one association. Members of the brotherhood created social 
groups, financial alliances and, primarily, religious congregations. They were 
responsible for the organization of religious life within the city. At the end of the 
fifteenth century singing become a new activity in the brotherhoods. Members 
began to divide themselves between those who wished to sing and those who did not. 

Patkova also discusses the question of tolerance within guilds and brother- 
hoods. An article which appeared consistently within the statutes of Utraquist 
occupational associations was in fact a postulate that maintained that those 
entering the organization be themselves Utraquists. This condition did not appear 
within the guild statutes of Catholic cities. On exception, as argued by Hana 
Patkova, is the Stonemason Brotherhood of the St. Benedict church which, in 
1496, began insisting that its members be of the Catholic faith. Aside from these 
cases, from the 1480s onward articles contained within the statutes were specifi- 
cally articulated in such a way as to allow for both Catholic and Utraquist 
interpretation. A precise analysis of the sources allows Patkova to conclude that 
corporations in post-Hussite Bohemia were tolerant of various faiths. 

Patkova concludes with an assessment of the brotherhoods within the litera- 
ture of Bohemian reformers. Mention of these religious corporations are short and 
refer to their functioning, which, according to learned theologians, did not serve 
to praise God and did not reflect Christian morality. In the treatises of Matthew 
of Janow, Nicolas of Drezno, Thomas of Stitneho, Jana Husa, Jana Milicza of 

Kromieryz there is a strong critique of brotherhood activities, suggesting that their 
members were hooligans, murderers, and thieves. 

This volume includes an alphabetical index of 85 brotherhoods and 163 
guilds as well as an edition of brotherhood statute sources. 

Patkova's study is a synthesis of her wide research on religion in the cities 
of Bohemia during the Middle Ages, and as such it allows for comparative studies 
withing a larger European context. 

Beata Wojciechowska 

The Swietokrzyska Academy 

Kielce, Poland 






Publications Received 



The following publications have been received by the SCS and have been 
deposited into the Confraternities Collection at the Centre for Reformation and 
Renaissance Studies (Toronto): 

La chiesa di San Giorgio a Montemerano. Arte, storia efede. Eds. Cristina Gnoni Mavarelli, 
Ludovica Sebregondi, Ulisse Tramonti. Firenze: Edizioni della Meridiana, 2000. 175 pp., 
illustrations 

Confraternities and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Italy. Ritual, Spectacle, Image. Eds. 
Barbara Wisch and Diane Cole Ahl. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 
xiv, 314 pp., 65 illustrations. [Contains: Barbara Wisch and Diane Cole Ahl 'Introduction' 
pp. 1-19; Louise Marshall 'Confraternity and Community: Mobilizing the Sacred in Times 
of Plague' pp. 20^5; Diane Cole Ahl "In corpo di compagnia: Art and Devotion in the 
Compagnia della Purificazione e di San Zanobi of Florence' pp. 46-73; Ann Matchette 'The 
Compagnia della Purificazione e di San Zanobi in Florence: A Reconstruction of Its 
Residence at San Marco, 1440-1506' pp. 74—101; Konrad Eisenbichler 'The Acquisition of 
Art by a Florentine Youth Confraternity: The Case of the Arcangelo Raffaello' pp. 102-1 16; 
Nicholas Terpstra 'The Qualita of Mercy: (Re)building Confraternal Charities in Renais- 
sance Bologna' pp. 117-145; Randi Klebanoff 'Passion, Compassion, and the Sorrows of 
Women: Niccolo dell' Area's Lamentation of the Dead Christ for the Bolognese Confrater- 
nity of Santa Maria della Vita' pp. 146-172; Nerida Newbigin 'The Decorum of the Passion: 
The Plays of the Confraternity of the Gonfalone in the Roman Colosseum, 1490-1539' pp. 
173-202; Barbara Wisch 'New Themes for New Rituals: The Crucifixion Altarpiece by 
Roviale Spagnuolo for the Oratory of the Gonfalone in Rome' pp. 203-234; Eunice D. Howe 
'Appropriating Space: Woman's Place in Confraternal Life at Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome' 
pp. 235-258; Lance Lazar 'Efaucibus daemonis: Daughters of Prostitutes, the First Jesuits, 
and the Compagnia delle Vergini Miserabili di Santa Caterina della Rosa' pp. 259-279; 
Louise Smith Bross '"She is among all virgins the queen ... so worthy a patron ... for maidens 
to copy." Livio Agresti, Cardinal Federico Cesi, and the Compagnia delle Vergini Miserabili 
di Santa Caterina della Rosa' pp. 280-297; 'Selected bibliography' pp. 299-307; Index pp. 
309-314.] 

Franchini Guelfi, Fausta. "L' Arciconfraternita dei Sand Giorgio e Caterina della 'Nazione 
Genovese' a Cagliari" La Casana 42 (gennaio-marzo 2000), Supplemento 1, pp. 68-75. 

Levin, William R. '"Lost Children': A Working Mother and the Progress of an Artist in the 
Florentine Misericordia in the Trecento" Publications of the Medieval Association of the 
Midwest 6 (1999), p. 34-84. 

Levin, William R. "Two Gestures of Virtue in Italian Late Medieval and Renaissance Art" 
Southeastern College Art Conference Review 13:4 (1999), pp. 325-346 [artworks in Italian 
confraternities] 

Luzzi, Serena. "La Confraternita Alemanna degli Zappatori. Lineamenti per una storia della 
comunita tedesca a Trento fra tardo medioevo e prima eta moderna" Studi trentini di scienze 
storiche 73:3 (1994), pp. 231-275; 73:4 (1994), pp. 331-363; 74:1 (1995), pp. 47-92 (in 
three parts), [the article received the 1993 prize "In memoria del prof. Gino Onestinghel") 



36 Confraternitas 11:2 

Luzzi, Serena. "Confraternite e aristocrazie: l'elite tirolese e tedesca nella Hauerbruderschaft 
di Trento (secc. XV-inizi XVII)" Geschichte und Region/Storia e regione 5 (1996), pp. 
317-343. 

Patkova, Hana. Bratrstvie ke cti bozie. Pozndmky ke kultovni cinnosti bratrstev e cechxx ve 
sttedovekych techdch (Praha: KLP, 2000) p. 213. 

Rollo-Koster, Joelle. "Forever After: The Dead in the Avignonese Confraternity of Notre 
Dame la Majour (1329-1381)" Journal of Medieval History 25:2 (1999), pp. 1 15-140. 

Sebregondi, Ludovica. "Accadeva a Firenze" Medioevo 37 (February 2000), pp. 71-77. 
[confraternities in Florence] 

Sebregondi, Ludovica. "La partecipazione dei ceti dirigenti alia realta confraternale 
fiorentina" in / ceti dirigenti a Firenze dal gonfalonierato di giustizia a vita all 'avvento del 
ducato. Ed. E. Insabato. Introduction by Riccardo Fubini (Lecce: Conte Editore, 1999), pp. 
189-202. 

Taddei, Ilaria. ' "Per la salute dell'anima e del corpo". Gli artigiani e le loro confraternite' 
pp. 129-147 in Arti fwrentine. La grande storia delVartigianato. Vol. 2 // Quattrocento. 
Eds. Franco Franceschi and Gloria Fossi. Firenze: Giunti, 1999. 



APR 2 1 2005